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Former US Senator Chuck Hagel, US President Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defence speaks on foreign policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington. — File Photo by AP

WASHINGTON: India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan from across the border in Afghanistan, says Senator Chuck Hagel, US President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of defence.

Mr Hagel, who faces a confirmation vote in the US Senate on Tuesday night or Wednesday, made these remarks in a talk at the Cameron University in Oklahoma in 2011. The video of his speech reappeared on a website of the Washington Free Beacon, an American news portal that publishes associated content from a US conservative perspective.

The video gave more fuel to his opponents who were already trying to block his nomination because of the alleged anti-Israeli statements he had made in the past.

Mr Hagel’s “comments on India’s role in Afghanistan during a speech in 2011 provide yet another indication that he is poorly qualified to lead the US Department of Defence”, said Lisa Curtis, a South Asia expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think-tank.

In his talk on Afghanistan, Mr Hagel reportedly said that India had been using Afghanistan as a second front against Pakistan. “India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border, and you can carry that into many dimensions.”

He noted that India took advantage of tensions between Kabul and Islamabad for fomenting troubles in the areas that border Afghanistan. “The point being [that] the tense, fragmented relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been there for many, many years,” he said.

Mr Hagel is not the only American to suggest that India has been using Afghanistan for stirring troubles in Pakistan. C. Christine Fair, an assistant professor at Georgetown University, made similar suggestion during a congressional hearing on Afghanistan in 2011 but was later forced to clarify her position following protests from Indian lobbies.

Our Correspondent in New Delhi adds: US defence secretary nominee Chuck Hagel has riled Indians after his comments from a 2011 speech in which he accused New Delhi of financing problems for Pakistan through Afghanistan.

The remarks sparked a strong reaction from India which said such comments were “contrary to the reality” of its unbounded dedication to the welfare of Afghans.

A Times of India report quoted the Indian Embassy in Washington as seeking to play down its importance.

“Such comments attributed to Senator Hagel, who has been a longstanding friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-US relations, are contrary to the reality of India’s unbounded dedication to the welfare of Afghan people,” the embassy said.

It added that India’s commitment to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan was unwavering, “and this is reflected in our significant assistance to Afghanistan in developing its economy, infrastructure and institutional capacities”. “Our opposition to terrorism and its safe havens in our neighbourhood is firm and unshakable. India’s development assistance has been deeply appreciated by the people and the government of Afghanistan, and by our friends around the world including the US. We do not view our engagement with Afghanistan as a zero sum game,” the embassy said.

The Times said Mr Hagel’s remarks were in sharp contrast to the viewpoint of the Obama administration that had always been in praise of India’s developmental role in Afghanistan and in fact had been pressing New Delhi to do more in Afghanistan.

The embassy said India and the US had a shared perspective and a deep convergence of interests for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“We will continue to work to help the Afghan people build a peaceful, prosperous, democratic and inclusive future for themselves in an environment free from terror and intimidation,” the statement said.

Comments (93) Closed

Arslan Feb 27, 2013 10:05am
Telling the truth is a hard thing to do well done senator.
asghar Feb 27, 2013 05:27pm
although we ignore western gossip most of the time, we choose to accept this one. Wonder why!!
Salim Shaikh Feb 27, 2013 08:12am
Like Mr Hagel, there have been many in USA who do admit and confessed in their speech and write ups that suggest opening of two borders by India for Pakistan in order to put her under extreme pressure. Likewise inside Pakistan, Indians paid agents are engaged in terrorist activities ... the terms "hidden hands" or the "handlers" often used by the Interior Minister for India. It's time to openly speak up in the best interest of Pakistan...
khalidmurad1 Feb 27, 2013 06:32pm
This we had already confirmed, that India had staged the drama of Mumbai attack, to hide their own meaness. Whereas they were operating in Afghanistan since long to create Bangla Desh situation by creating TTP, as Mukti Bahini in East Pakistan. Americans realised it, but slightly late. Karzai, a classified joker has yet to realise the actual Indian wickedness and game played by them to create ever lasting enemity between to Muslim states.
ranvir Feb 27, 2013 04:33pm
please do post some facts to improve our knowledge
anonymous Feb 28, 2013 11:10am
I don't blame you as wrong history books were taught to you. Your Muslim majority province? Who told you that?
sraz45 Feb 27, 2013 06:46am
The reality is that former senator Chuck Hagel is telling thevwhole truth. Though there are moves to improve ties between Pakistan and India at present, it is however a known fact that India has been at this game for a long time, 14 consulates in a country which has nothing in tact is a clear indication. Billions spent in Afghanistan by India when it has enough disenfranchised folks of it's own to take care of. Come on folks this has to be true. This man is going to head the most powerful military in the world, do you he would jeopardize his appointment.
King Tut (@AmirTut) Feb 27, 2013 09:57am
Pakistan needs a powerful Pakistani lobby in the US, to establish it self as a pressure group. If you notice Christine is now very critical of Pakistan since the Indian lobby gave her a dressing down, she signing praises of India. However despite saying this we Pakistanis and Indians shouldn't allow foreigners to meddle in our affairs, we need to stop this childish and silly conflict we are constantly having and we should be looking to move on, both countries need to foment a stronger economic pact as rally behind that this will help ease the tension and many will see and realize that its better to have a good relationship each other. We, Pakistanis and Indians are essentially the same people.
Rabbani Feb 27, 2013 07:48am
Very True!! At least someone have come up from US to officially accept this. Indians have been very cunning to always project the false and fabricated irony they are facing through Pakistani hands. SO far they have been successful in projecting this. I hope this tool will not work for them in future.
anonymous Feb 28, 2013 11:13am
Tell me why would your army would like to have better relations with India?
MEEE Feb 27, 2013 06:46am
someone finally saying the truth and it took 2 years to come out in newspapers
Dixit Feb 27, 2013 06:30am
How innocent these Americans are? They are not ready to leave Pakistan on its own. They are not ready to stop drone attacks. Still they are the well-wishers of Pakistan.
Awais Feb 27, 2013 06:26am
way to go Mr. Hagel, let the truth be spoken,
Umer Feb 27, 2013 08:19am
Maybe Pakistan can start focusing on internal issues if the foreign elements are deterred for a time, but that is highly doubtful with the departure of the Americans from Afghanistan. Mr. Hagel may say more truth than others around him, but he will not be able to help Pakistan much.
Ali Feb 27, 2013 06:05am
The good Samaritan and India does not mix.
skipping growing pains Feb 27, 2013 05:49am
well ofcourse, atleast from .... since almost all they are is due to us.
raja hindustani Feb 27, 2013 08:17pm
"There might be another proxy war between India and Pakistan as India would arm Hamid Karzai and Pakistan would arm the Taliban, said Mr Dalrymple answering the question as to what would happen after the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan." If you read this statement you got to know who is playing what type of game in Afghanistan.
Hamidnawaz KHAN Feb 27, 2013 05:39am
What he said is true. But the problem is not with Indians, as we all know that India is a hostile neighbour and would never let any chance to destabalize Pakistan. The problem is our in incompetent establishmen, which can not portray the real image of India and always been on backfoot. They should make public about the Indian involvement in Baluchistan, its financial support to terrorists known as Talibans.I personally believe that the Pakistan right wingers called themselves the so called champions of Islam are also secretely on the payroll of Indian and other hostile country. If we look at their actions, the agitation and their open support to terrorists, all these actions defaming Pakistan, which is the ultimate agenda of India.
Bansal Feb 27, 2013 05:30am
so, how this news will be handled by the ministry of foreign affairs now
Kannan Feb 27, 2013 05:28am
Let us wait for what Hagel has to say in defense at the senate hearings. Then it will be worth to comment.
Sandeep (New Delhi) Feb 27, 2013 05:17am
This old hag Hagel is a republican who is still having the cold war mindset and just trying to stir this controversy to defame Obama, actually it barely have to do anything with India or Pakistan but United States own political dirty games to garner support from the voters. What Pakistan did after this allegation cuz there is a trust deficit between Pakistan and USA not between India and USA.......
Omair Feb 27, 2013 04:28pm
Asif Feb 27, 2013 05:06am
Our buddies from across the border are silent, why ?
bk Feb 27, 2013 04:58am
Mr Hagel's statements merely mean the US wants Pakistan to accept more arms and kill more of its young in useless wars. Pakistan should look very carefully to see which arms lobby funds him before continuing as a battering ram for US policies. The US wants land / bases / a military presence on the subcontinent's border and will use Pakistan to get what it wants and then subject it to the same dismissal faced by the Shah, Saddam, Marcos and others. Come on Pakistan, you are smarter than this. I admire and love the US for innumerable things and truly respect its many wonderful people. However I worry about it provoking unnecessary, inconclusive wars over decades.
Zeeshan Jamil Feb 27, 2013 04:51am
Fie on Pakistani Leaders, who deliberately (for their own benefits and to be in power) putting all thier efforts to appease Indian black sheep governemnt! It is lighter than the sun light that India is nothing but our hostile.
afzal Feb 27, 2013 04:42am
Mr: Hagel well said and it is all 100% true.
Sherry Manzoor Feb 27, 2013 04:47am
the comments were made in 2011, what's the point of bringing them up, again in 2013 ...
Kamal Feb 27, 2013 04:40am
Bharat is innocent. They can never stir any trouble in Pakistan. ISI paid Chuck Hagel for this. ISI is behind this.
nandkishor Feb 27, 2013 04:20pm
if any senator speak in favor of india than will he 100% wrong? if india wants to put pak in trouble than there is balochistan, why via afghanistan? india wants all south asian contries united & strong, but pakis can't see that.,if there is peace & prosperity in afghanistan with indian funding projects then it is better for pakistan & south asia , open your eyes..
Wild Wild West Feb 27, 2013 04:26am
Bravo, It was Chuck Hagel who had the courage to drop the pant of India which Pakistan had been complaining about for a while.
anonymous Feb 28, 2013 11:06am
Visit Afghanistan and see the roads, hospitals and other buildings built by India, you will get the truth.
hyat Feb 27, 2013 03:45am
this is very true we were waiting a long time. good job Sir.
Kolsat Feb 27, 2013 03:17am
Hagel's comments are contradicted by Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State. He said that "India is an economic linchpin for future of Afghanistan and (India) will continue to play an important role in turning Afghanistan into a trade based economy from an aid based economy."
Ahmed Sultan (India) Feb 28, 2013 03:07pm
pakistanis dont vote in US elections
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Feb 27, 2013 02:31am
Salute to Chuck Hagel for calling spade a spade. I hope and pray that he sticks to his guns after being confirmed today or tomorrow as the new US secretary of defense amid great opposition from the interest groups as well as the Jewish and Hindu lobbies in America. I assure him of the full support from the Pakistani Americans like me if he keeps on telling the truth under any and all circumstances. My message to Chuck Hagel at this crucial juncture in time and history is to 'keep it up and hang on tough.' May God Almighty be your protector and supporter. Aameen, Tsum Aameen.
abbastoronto Feb 27, 2013 02:20am
Next 4 years look promising for Pakistan-US relationship. Kerry, the war-hero, and a friend of Pakistan, will be the Secretary of State, replacing Hillary, wife of the draft evader India-loving Clinton. Hagel, the realist, will be the Secretary of Defense, replacing Panetta, whose short term brilliance in getting OBL was exceeded by the long term blindness of doing the same. Only if Dr. Munter could be back as US Ambassador to complete the hat-trick. Trade, not Aid should be the basis of the future relationship.
abbastoronto Feb 27, 2013 02:14am
Khan007 Feb 27, 2013 08:32pm
Don't forget the Ghost of General Zia
Kris Feb 27, 2013 01:49am
Hagel and Malik are twin brothers, didn't you know? Both have mouths that does overtime all the time. President Obama now has opportunity to kick him out. His remarks have added added more fuel to fire that was about to die.
Pro Truth Feb 27, 2013 01:47am
Lets see what price Mr Hagel will have to pay for just truth spoken in the past! Damn diplomatic world just run in different frame of reference without any reality of the world!
Shah Feb 27, 2013 01:38am
Hagel for president!
Omair Feb 27, 2013 05:52pm
well said. innocent as a devil
G.A. Feb 27, 2013 01:17pm
It is quite possible that financing trouble in Pakistan. Why would it need so many consulates so lined up next to Pakistan's border. Pakistan would have done the same to India as childish these two governments are.
umesh bhagwat Mar 01, 2013 01:04am
trying to create mischief!
Abdullah K Mar 01, 2013 01:00am
Wish you indians would express your views in your papers- Evidently, you don't have one worth reading.What secretary Hagel said we knew it already. It is not that India has any sympathy for Afghans, it is to open a new front on our western border.
Khan Feb 28, 2013 04:17pm
You also supportedAfghan invasion by USSR , where was your love for afghans at that time?
Gary Feb 28, 2013 09:01am
Probably you don't know the history well!
farrukh Feb 27, 2013 10:49am
Eye openers for all those promoting called .. AMMAN KI ASHA...MY foot.
Ram Gandluri Feb 27, 2013 10:27am
A loose talk indulged in, almost two years ago. Has little relavance today.
Wild Wild West Feb 27, 2013 05:33pm
In America, you are accountable for what you said in the past or what you will saying in the future. Unfortunately, it does not exist in our country.
Kashif Feb 27, 2013 09:49am
India can deny it but can't hide it. Facts speak itself
haseeb Feb 27, 2013 01:48pm
surely he missed his chances, thats what all americans know but cant speak, will harm their longterm relation with India
Shah Jahan Feb 27, 2013 01:43pm
We Pakistanis have known this for years. Indians were not nice to us before 1947, killed millions of our people in 1947, occupied our Muslim majority province of Kashmir and invaded Pakistan many times over (by crossing the international border). They using Afghan soil is just a continuation of their hate. Plain and simple!
Ajay Vikram Singh Feb 28, 2013 09:25am
Its a 2 years old statement by a misplaced & falling diplomat. its a big Lie and he just speculated about india's role in afghanistan. He didnt say anything about indian role in pakistan directly.
chump Feb 28, 2013 08:45pm
To create '' sansanee''.
Maaz S Feb 27, 2013 02:31pm
Here comes "The concealed truth". At last, someone showed the real picture to American people. I sometimes wonder, which Welfare is India Talking about in Afghanistan??? when itself, India has Millions to Look after for their Welfare......... Raw and other Intelligence agencies Must Not sitting IDLE and doing Welfare I guess.....
raja hindustani Feb 28, 2013 08:34pm
I can blame only to your wrong history text book dude..!!!
IndiaUSA Feb 28, 2013 08:41pm
Thanks for your concern sir, but at the end of the day it's our money so its upto us what we do with it...Afghanistan is our brother from another mother, so whats wrong if we have 14 consulates, I think we should have 40 and Pakistan should mind it's own business.
Indian Feb 28, 2013 02:02pm
us before 1947? please be specific on who are "us"
Alexander Fedorov Feb 28, 2013 02:34pm
And I thought Pakistanis mullahs shout all day in streets that american media lies ...
ram Feb 28, 2013 01:46pm
I love this almost everyone in Pakistan is having field day with some lose talk done almost two years ago.
Monty.. Feb 28, 2013 01:04pm
In think.. he must be on dope!!!
Kamran Feb 27, 2013 09:22pm
Ras Feb 27, 2013 09:33pm
Anyway , Some times RM also speaks truth
Ahmed Sultan (India) Feb 28, 2013 03:03pm
Its tit for tat. they do here, we do there
Akil Akhtar Feb 27, 2013 11:01pm
keep denying as truth is not pretty.
Akil Akhtar Feb 27, 2013 11:03pm
exactly what I was thinking, I guess because they are cowards.
Akil Akhtar Feb 27, 2013 11:05pm
Becasue the situation is still the same......
vikram Feb 27, 2013 11:05pm
I totally agree with you.There should not be any Aman ki Asha between India & Pakistan. Associating with Pakistan is not good for our global image.
anonymous Feb 28, 2013 11:22am
If the message pleases Pakistan, it does not necessarily mean it is true.
Raja Feb 28, 2013 12:18am
do you really think indians should be trusted?
wahab Feb 28, 2013 12:24am
It's about time someone in the present U.S admin opened up, i am surprised that it took so long it's also Pakistans fault for not be successful to identify the involvement of foreign elements inside the country.If Pakistan want's to alley with the U.S then Pakistan needs to have strong lobby i say it's time to part way's with the U.S
Sajan Feb 28, 2013 10:26am
Just check today's news. One american is asking referrendum in Baluchistan in their senate..
Shruti Feb 28, 2013 02:50am
Because there is no-point replying. The one thing I want to ask you though is, why do you sometimes conveniently choose to believe US and hail them as innocently honest and other-times as political manipulators?? If you trust them,why trust them selectively? I don't think US can judge us and if it does, I would like them to back it with evidence. BTW another source of news would tell you that the Obama government tells India to become more actively involved in Afghanistan and thinks that India has been quite passive so far. GOOGLE please. So if I may, I suggest you to take things with a pinch of salt and base your opinions on continuous stream of well-informed and factually supported news.
Naveen Kumar Feb 28, 2013 02:24pm
As if the right wingers of Pakistan shower rose petals on Indians.
Mir Rasool Feb 28, 2013 03:12am
atleast he speaks truth, now the duty of Pak leaders to make strategy to defame this Indian activity, so that pak can be save from every inhuman activity against pak
Prakash Feb 28, 2013 10:10am
but why india was doing that? May be to prevent incidents like Kandahar plane hijack. And these firangee people, when mood between neighbors looks getting better, they put poison.
Liberal Feb 28, 2013 02:12pm
But we wont believe him. How can India finance trouble in Pakistan when its "committed" to aman ki asha...yup no one is our liberal facists circles will ever want to believe this. Accepting this would mean accepting the long held narrative of the mullahs
Adnan Feb 28, 2013 04:31am
The relevance increases when he becomes the secretary of state two hours ago!
Naresh Sharma Feb 28, 2013 04:33am
Bcoz.. we dont bark on false claims.... and we accept that we always support common afghan not terrorists of Taliban just like Pakistan did during civil war of Afghanistan and we always appreciate the ideology of Great Abdul Gaffar Khan since before 1947...
cutehgautam Feb 28, 2013 04:53am
Everybody knows He is Pro Pakistani. Nothing new from his side.
A Rehman K Feb 28, 2013 05:23am
The gentleman was addressing a very very serious forum and the statement is not a loose talk. Lets call spade, a spade.
Sohail Feb 28, 2013 05:19pm
So what does USA expect from India? Silently keep on taking the blows of terrorism fomented & inflicted to it by Pakistan?? It Seems the Senator is a Saint himself as regards the politics that USA plays around the world to secure its own self interest.
lalla Bihari Paanwalla Feb 28, 2013 05:44am
My friend we Indians love our Afghan cousins especially their lovely 'naan' bread. So what is wrong if we have spent billions of dollars in Afghanistan. Plus the afghan "briyani rice' is also very tasty.
lalla Bihari Paanwalla Feb 28, 2013 05:53am
He must be related to chuck norris
lalla Bihari Paanwalla Feb 28, 2013 06:21am
My dear Salaria its great to support Pakistan especially when you do not have to stay there. The problem with Pakistan and India is when you have to live there everyday. But once you live in western comfort in Europe or the U.S. you cant help but love Pakistan and India. Sigh such is life.
Raoul Ciao Feb 28, 2013 06:27am
It's very good to hear that India and pakistan have a tense relationship....from a third party ;-). If Sen. Hagel hadn't said this only 2 years ago, we would never have known these 2 nations are not friends ;-) ;-). Thanks for stating a hidden truth Senator ! Incidentally, it is interesting to know that as the end game in Afghanistan starts, USA is packing Pakistan pro senators into key positions - Sen. John kerry, who also helped Pakistan enormously through Kerry-Lugar bill and over USD 7 Billion grants, who is pro Pakistani defence and helps project their worries to US - good for Pakistan to have such a person now as Secretary of State in place of the earlier foe of Pakistan, Sen. Hillary Clinton. Also, very good for Pakistan's defence and army that Hagel will become Defence Secretay in US and bad for the neighbours including Afghanistan and India, who are trying to join hands against pakistan and Taliban.
Saurabh Feb 28, 2013 06:33am
I thought indian government wastes the money i pay as tax. Atleast some thing happens with my tax paying money
Sachin Feb 28, 2013 06:53am
One comment verses whole world comments about Pakistan...time for reality check..All Pakistani's will hang on to these comment...Good luck to you guys..:)
Ajay Feb 28, 2013 09:17am
What Hagel said was not as a Defence Sec , these allegations are unsubstantiated , it will be imp to see if maintains the same position after assuming the office , which honestly he cannot after being a part of administration .But his love for Pakistan can be gauged by the number of drone strike he permits.
bharat Feb 28, 2013 07:53am
True but only if we realised this one fact.
bharat Feb 28, 2013 07:55am
Pakistan has been meddling in india for years, why should India not interfere in pakistan ?
imran Feb 28, 2013 08:29am
hahahahahha...pakistani lobby.....