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Ties with India different from ties with Pak: US

October 28, 2009 13:48 IST

The United States feels it is important for India and Pakistan to resolve their differences by developing more trust and more confidence-building measures, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.

On her maiden visit to Pakistan after assuming office, Clinton said the Obama administration believes the most durable possible outcomes of any kind of resolution or normalisation can only come from the two countries themselves.

She said the two countries had already made a start by developing more trust, more confidence-building measures and working towards resolving bilateral differences.

"There was some very good work done in the last several years, which we encouraged and we watched with admiration -- the bus routes being open, for example," she said praising the confidence building measures.

'So we are going to encourage and hope that we can see that occurring again, because at the end of the day, my view is that India and Pakistan have so much more to gain by working through their very difficult relationship,' she told Geo TV of Pakistan in an interview given before her departure to Islamabad.

But Clinton refused to make any comment on Pakistan's charges about India's alleged involvement in Balochistan, emphasising that it was very important to follow up on what happened in Sharm el-Sheikh wherein the Prime Ministers of both the countries met.

Clinton also refused to respond to questions on Kashmir. Terming America's relationship with India as "separate" from that with Pakistan, Clinton said the people of the region would benefit tremendously from improvement of ties between the two countries.

'We believe that we have very important interests with Pakistan and with India. Now it would be a very important step for both India and Pakistan to work to resolve their differences,' she said according to the transcripts of the interview made available by the State Department.

'It will help improve trade and investment and it will create a better opportunity for Pakistan to prosper and progress, and that's what I hope will happen,' she said.

She said the US would encourage confidence building because 'the air needs to be cleared and a very open understanding should exist'.

'Our relationship to India is a separate relationship from our relationship to Pakistan. We want to have two solid bilateral relationships,' Clinton told Geo TV.

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