US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, James Dobbin meets with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM’s Office in Islamabad. – INP Photo/ File
US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, James Dobbin meets with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM’s Office in Islamabad. – INP Photo/ File

WASHINGTON: In an acknowledgement of Pakistan's concerns over India's presence in Afghanistan, US Special Representative James Dobbins Wednesday said Islamabad's fears are “not groundless.”

The US diplomat, in an interview with BBC Urdu Service in Washington, recognised the cross-border infiltration of hostile elements into Pakistan from the Afghan side.

“The dominant infiltration of militants is from Pakistan into Afghanistan, but we recognise that there is some infiltration of hostile militants from the other direction as well. So Pakistan's concerns aren't groundless. They are simply, in our judgement, somewhat exaggerated.”

Islamabad has long voiced its concerns about Indian moves to establish consulates in Afghanistan's cities Jalalabad and Kandahar, close to Pakistani western border.

Dobbins, though, said the Indian presence in Afghan cities was minuscule and claimed it was “perfectly reasonable” because of their economic and cultural ties. He called for Pakistan-Afghan-US collaboration to address cross-border issue.

“We believe that Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US need to collaborate much more closely to deal with this threat of cross-border infiltration.”

On Afghan reconciliation, he said President Hamid Karzai was “quite warm” to the idea of talking to the Taliban and had asked Pakistan to facilitate contact between the Afghan High Peace Council and the insurgents.

The US diplomat said he hoped that the talks could begin within the next three months.


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Comments (10) Closed




syed baqar ahsan
Aug 07, 2013 11:29pm

Fear is a small word for India they are notorious and they become more lethal when Americans also start supporting them in all types of campaigns against Pakistan ie Double Gaming which we confronting in all parts of Pakistan.

Ashish
Aug 08, 2013 12:12am

And what will happen if India's influence extends to Afghanistan? Can someone please explain? More song and dance? Do Pakistanis know that the singular reason why they are still have some sanity in one part of their country is due to the Indian influence on one side? There are many in Pakistan who'd prefer Afghanistans on both sides.

Rajiv
Aug 08, 2013 01:37am

The headline is mischievous. The US representative is referring to infiltration of some Afghan militants across the Afghan border into Pakistan , when he refers to Pakistan's fears 'not groundless' and not to the Indian consulates in Afghanistan , which he strongly justifies.

sal
Aug 08, 2013 02:17am

Hence why Pakistan routinly has its agents attacking Indian interests in Afghanistan.

usman
Aug 08, 2013 02:45am

what are indians cultural ties with our brothers in afghnistan? that of the invaded and the invaders?

who cares?
Aug 08, 2013 04:03am

this is really funny, now tell me more...!

SKC
Aug 08, 2013 04:06am

The headline and the opening paragraph of this news report are misleading and deliberately misquote Dobbins. Dobbins statement clearly states that Pakistan's concerns of militant infiltration from Afghanistan into Pakistan are "not groundless" but exaggerated. Nowhere does he lend credit to Pakistan's concerns about Indian presence in Afghanistan. It is indeed sad when news media compromise on ethics to further an agenda - in the process they just lose their respect and esteem.

SGN
Aug 08, 2013 04:47am

The first sentence is inconsistent with the third paragraph. The first sentence attributes Dobbins words to the topic of Indian presence in Afghanistan whereas the third paragraph attributes the same words to the question of cross border infiltration into Pakistan. Bad copy editing/proof reading.

rang
Aug 08, 2013 05:19am

this is a perfect example of misguiding "The dominant infiltration of militants is from Pakistan into Afghanistan, but we recognise that there is some infiltration of hostile militants from the other direction as well. So Pakistan's concerns aren't groundless"

The meaning I interpret is militants coming from Afghanistan to Pakistan , not india .

Olikara
Aug 09, 2013 09:30pm

@usman: Obviously you do not know that of the tens of millions of muslims in India several million are of Pathan origin. That is the relation.