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Must bring India into regional alliance with Pak: Congressman

Last updated on: December 01, 2009 10:24 IST

An influential American Congressman has said there is a need to bring India into a regional alliance with Pakistan, given that Islamabad is not able to come out with its cold-war mentality, as it still considers New Delhi as a primary adversary.

"We have to do more to bring India into a regional alliance or at least some ad hoc coalition with Pakistan," Member of the US House of Representatives Joe Sestak told MSNBC in an interview on Tuesday.

"Pakistan has been primarily focused on India. It still thinks India is its -- like the Soviet Union was to us -- still cold-war adversary," he said.

Such a statement from the senior Democratic Senator came amidst media reports that US President Barack Obama has offered Pakistan help to reduce tensions between the country and India.

India has traditionally opposed any third party mediation, which has been respected by the Obama Administration.

Both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have said it is up to India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes through bilateral dialogue.

At the same time, they have maintained that the US would encourage the two South Asian neighbours to do so.

Congressman Sestak also supported the idea of giving access to Drones to Pakistan.

"We understand that their intelligence is very involved with some of these terrorist groups. They sent them up into Afghanistan to go after the Soviet Union and others. But we have to be able to trust them," he said.

"For example, we actually have our Predators, our drones, where we pull the trigger and actually kill someone of the Al Qaeda on the other side of the border.

And if we were to give them the ability to pull the trigger, that takes away the onus from us and places it upon their own troops going after the Al Qaeda."

"We just have to leave behind conditions that are inhospitable to some degree for the Al Qaeda to come back. This is about Pakistan," Sestak said.

"This whole strategy has only one objective, and I hope the president makes that very clear tomorrow night.    That's the eradication of the Al Qaeda's safe haven in Pakistan.

This is really a Pakistan strategy, Pakistan a nation that's almost a failed state, a failed state with nuclear weapons," he said.

The US representative also said he had earlier talked to former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf about a month or two ago.
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