WASHINGTON: The nominee to be the next chief unformed officer of the US military pledged on Tuesday to press Pakistan to rein in extremists, saying that the war partner falsely considered India to be its top enemy.
General Martin Dempsey, answering questions from senators at his confirmation hearing, said that he would urge Pakistan not to eliminate the safe haven enjoyed by militants in its lawless areas bordering Afghanistan.
Dempsey told the Senate Armed Forces Committee that he will “continue to work with Pakistan to reduce the safe haven on the (Pakistan-Afghanistan) border.”
“As you know, they persist in the idea that India poses an existential threat to their existence while the terrorists that operate with some impunity in North West Frontier Province and FATA are less of a threat to them, and therefore they allocate their resources accordingly,” he said, referring to two parts of Pakistan.
The United States is working to convince Pakistan that extremists in the West are “as great a threat and probably a greater threat to them than any threat that India might pose,” he said.
Dempsey, who led troops through insurgency in Iraq, was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed Admiral Mike Mullen as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.