Press Esc to close
Saturday 27 May 2017
News updated at 11:00 PM IST

Hagel committed to ties with India: Pentagon

Washington, Feb 28, 2013, (IANS): 12:15 IST
File photo.

As Chuck Hagel took over as Barack Obama's new defence secretary amid a controversy over his comments on India's role in Afghanistan, Pentagon - the US defence department headquarters - said that Hagel will work to strengthen ties to India.

Hagel's strong commitment to fostering a close defence relationship was reported Wednesday by Washington Free Beacon, the rightwing online newspaper that had disclosed a video-recording of a speech Hagel made in 2011 about Indian aid to Afghanistan.

"Secretary Hagel is strongly committed to the US strategic partnership with India and to fostering an even closer defense relationship with India that builds upon the work of Secretary (Leon) Panetta, Deputy Secretary (Ashton) Carter, and their Indian counterparts," Free Beacon quoted Pentagon spokesperson George Little as saying.

"Secretary Hagel looks forward to working closely with Indian national security and defence officials," Little told the newspaper that had dug out the controversial comments during Hagel's contentious confirmation hearings with his former Republicans attacking him for his positions on Israel and Iran.

In his previously unreleased 2011speech, Hagel had said: "India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.

"And you can carry that into many dimensions, the point being (that) the tense, fragmented relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been there for many, many years."

The remarks raised a furore in New Delhi. However, in a calibrated response to the Free Beacon, the India Embassy said that Hagel's 2011 remarks were not grounded in "reality."

"Such comments attributed to Sen. Hagel, who has been a long-standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-US relations, are contrary to the reality of India's unbounded dedication to the welfare of the Afghan people," the embassy spokesperson said in an email to the newspaper.


"India's commitment to a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan is unwavering, and this is reflected in our significant assistance to Afghanistan in developing its economy, infrastructure, and institutional capacities," the spokesperson said. "Our opposition to terrorism and its safe havens in our neighborhood is firm and unshakeable."

The existence of the video of Hagel's speech at Cameron University in Oklahoma was disclosed by the online newspaper hours before the decorated Vietnam veteran was confirmed by the Senate after weeks of severe criticism from former Republican colleagues.

The former Republican senator from Nebraska, who won two Purple Hearts for his bravery as a soldier during the Vietnam War, was accused of being critical of Israel and weak on Iran's alleged nuclear weapon ambitions.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Kumar Jugnauth...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Kumar Jugnauth...

Congress president Sonia Gandhi pays tributes to first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru...

Congress president Sonia Gandhi pays tributes to first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru...

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi meeting the victims of Saharanpur caste violence at...

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi meeting the victims of Saharanpur caste violence at...

A Policeman in action against stone pelters during violent clashes which erupt following the...

A Policeman in action against stone pelters during violent clashes which erupt following the...

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia addressing a press conference in New Delhi...

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia addressing a press conference in New Delhi...

Congress activists took out a rally in Kolkata on Saturday, demanding improvement in law and...

Congress activists took out a rally in Kolkata on Saturday, demanding improvement in law and...

Youth Congress organised Beef Festivals in front of Ernakulam BJP office in Kochi...

Youth Congress organised Beef Festivals in front of Ernakulam BJP office in Kochi...

Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama confer the Avalokiteshvara Empowerment from the Main Tibetan...

Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama confer the Avalokiteshvara Empowerment from the Main Tibetan...

The completely damaged house where two militants including a top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen...

The completely damaged house where two militants including a top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen...

A group of protesters who have blocked the road near the scene of a fierce gunbattle between...

A group of protesters who have blocked the road near the scene of a fierce gunbattle between...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.