US: Pakistan think India as an existential threat

Washington, Jul 22: It is a truth that India has all along been saying to the world, and it is only now that the United States is coming to realise the extent to which a violent mindset exists in Pakistan.

A top Pentagon official has told US lawmakers that Pakistan has nurtured extremist groups to fight “proxy irregular” war against India, while its military benefited from presenting New Delhi as a threat.

In a written reply to lawmakers’ query, Admiral James A Winnefeld said, “Pakistan has viewed India itself and Indian (or any other nation’s) domination of Afghanistan as an existential threat, and has taken steps it believes are necessary to counter this threat, including developing nuclear weapons and nurturing extremist groups to fight proxy irregular warfare.”

Admiral Winnefeld is the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He added, “That the Pakistani military benefits from presenting India as a threat, and that there are many in the military who sympathise with the extremist views of these groups, only reinforces this tendency. Moreover, these groups fought hard against the Soviets during their invasion of Afghanistan, and thus the military bears a certain loyalty to them.”

He said, that in supporting the terror outfits, Pakistan has only harmed itself and has grabbed the “tail of a tiger” that they may not be able to control.

During his confirmation hearing for the post before a Congressional panel, Winnefeld said, “I believe it’s very unfortunate that Pakistan years ago made a decision to go down a very risky road of using proxy groups to carry out some of its desires to protect what it views as its own national interests, and among those groups has been the Haqqani Network.”

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