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US should use influence with India to lessen tensions, says Pak

By Rezaul H Laskar
November 14, 2009 17:56 IST
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Pakistan has said it could focus on American demands to do more in the war on terror only if the US used its influence with India to lessen tensions and to press for resumption of the stalled composite dialogue process.

This was conveyed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to visiting US National Security Advisor James Jones during a meeting in Islamabad on Friday as the two held wide-ranging talks on the regional security situation and bilateral cooperation. Gilani said Pakistan is fully committed to take its operations aimed at clearing its territory of terrorists and extremists to its logical conclusion but "its forces were over-stretched because of continuous tension on the eastern border" with India.

"It was imperative that the US should be sensitive about Pakistan's core interests, i.e. Kashmir, the Indus water issue, Indian military capability and the requirements of balance of power in South Asia," Gilani was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office. "The US, hence, has to use its influence with India for resumption of the composite dialogue and lessening of tension with Pakistan to enable Pakistan to concentrate its attention and energies in the fight against terrorism," he said.

Jones reportedly assured Gilani that US administration "fully recognised Pakistan's concerns about the long-term peace and security of South Asia and would keep urging the Indian leadership to return to composite dialogue".

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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