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Monday, 18 January 2010

Indian Army Chief General Kapoor as 'silly'

US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson termed the recent remarks of Indian Army Chief General Kapoor as 'silly' and said that India and Pakistan should address their issues bilaterally to ensure progress in both countries.

In an exclusive interview with DawnNews on Thursday night, the US envoy said that there was enormous potential for economic progress if India and Pakistan got together.

The countries have complementary markets and commercial implications of the good relations between them are enormous, she said.

Anne Patterson said that if the Pakistan government has any evidence of Indian involvement in Balochistan, her country will be keen to play a role in addressing the situation.

She felt the immediate need for reestarting composite dialogue between India and Pakistan and resumption of confidence building measure.

Appreciating the efforts of Pakistan army in combating the terrorists in Swat and South Waziristan the US envoy said, Pakistan army has pursued this war very courageously and they have rendered big sacrifices in it.

She expressed confidence in Pakistan government for spending KLB's assistance money for development of infrastructure in FATA and South Waziristan.

She also lauded Benazir Income Support Programme saying this programme is being appreciated by the comity of nations adding there would be no harm if the money of US assistance reaches the deserving people through this programme.

To a question the American envoy said that withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would be condition- based.

“We have to train and equip the Afghan security forces to replace the US and Nato troops before leaving the country”, the Ambassador said.

Commenting on the reports of presence of US security officials in Gwadar the envoy said, they visited the area to advance the visit of aid directors to assess the projects being financed through KLB.

She said there was no American in Pakistan without visa or proper documentation adding some people were floating such speculations in the media to undermine the relationship of two countries.

“We do not have Blackwaters in Pakistan and all information in this regard in foreign and local media was nonsense,” she said

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