Washington, Aug 24 (IANS) The United States has asked Pakistan to have a constructive relationship with India and Afghanistan, saying effective and coordinated action across the region was needed to meet the common threat of terrorism.
"These are individual judgments made country by country," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters Monday when asked whether the US had a role in Pakistani spy agency ISI's (Inter Services Intelligence) reported statement that it now considers internal terrorism instead of India as its top threat.
"We have certainly encouraged countries in the region to work collectively together because they confront a shared threat, and we think some of these challenges can only be resolved through effective and coordinated action across the region," he said.
"So does Afghanistan need to have a constructive relationship with Pakistan? It does. Does Pakistan have to have a constructive relationship with India? It does," Crowley said.
"Should all these countries need to avoid a zero-sum mentality that a gain on one side is necessarily a detriment on the other?" he posed and himself responded: "We think that to the extent that these countries can work more effectively together, that will ultimately help reduce the threat of terrorism to any one of them."
Asked to comment on an article by Afghanistan's national security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta in the Washington Post suggesting "Pakistan is the Afghan war's real aggressor", Crowley said the US has "encouraged Pakistan to take decisive action to deal with the threat within its borders."
It was "satisfied with the steps that Pakistan has taken thus far, but obviously, the offensive that Pakistan has started needs to continue."
"It is in the United States interest to work with Afghanistan to deal with a threat that is of direct consequence to the United States, a threat from Al Qaeda," Crowley said. "Likewise, it's in our interest to work effectively with Pakistan to deal with that extremist threat that exists within Pakistan's borders."
"These are not mutually exclusive, and likewise, it'll be important for Afghanistan and Pakistan to have an effective relationship going forward, and with the effective action on both sides of the border, we think the threat of extremism will be reduced to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries, including the United States," he said.