Pakistan getting isolated: Now, US backs India’s ‘right to self-defence’
In the wake of Pakistan’s statement to link war-torn Afghanistan with Kashmir issue, the US showed its stand in support of India’s retaliation for Uri attack. The US empathises with India’s position that it needs to militarily respond to cross-border terrorism.
In a first of such statements, Peter Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council, said, “It [Uri] was a clear case of cross-border terrorism. We condemn this act of terrorism. It was a horrific attack. Every country has a right to self-defence. But in a heavily militarised relationship that has also experienced three wars, there is indeed a need for caution and restraint. We share with India, the concern…. for preventing any future attack. We empathise with the Indian position that it needs to respond militarily to cross-border threat of terrorism. But we also advise caution.”
According to Lavoy, the two countries have a “friction-filled relationship”, which they haven’t found a way to overcome. Last week, two special envoys of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met him, where they linked peace in Afghanistan to resolving the Kashmir issue. In regards to that, Lavoy said: “We certainly do not believe that the situation in Afghanistan is linked with Kashmir.”
He said the US and India had “significantly increased” mutual interaction on Afghanistan, as “our commander in Afghanistan travels to New Delhi regularly for consultations. India and the U.S have reconvened the trilateral meeting along with Afghanistan recently in New York.”
In another step forward, Lavoy assured that Obama administration was making all efforts to ensure that India joined the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) before the end of the year. He believes that India becoming a member of NSG would exhibit New Delhi’s new leadership in non-proliferation.
Peter Lavoy was speaking to the audience at the Centre of Strategic and Interaction Studies after the release of a report on the agenda for India-US relations for the next US President.