India, Pak told to resolve differences

India, Pak told to resolve differences

Issues can be settled bilaterally: Hillary

India, Pak told to resolve differences

“What we hope is that at some point in the future — which I would like to see in the not too distant future — Pakistan and India can resolve their outstanding differences,” US Secretary of State Clinton said during an interaction with the youth at the Government College University here.

“And why do I say that? Because I believe that trade between Pakistan and India could rival trade anywhere. I believe that if there were peace between Pakistan and India and the outstanding issues were resolved, Pakistan would take off like a rocket in terms of economic development,” she said.

Clinton, however, said while the US encourages both countries to address their problems, only Pakistan and India can resolve such issues. She said Pakistan has the makings to become an economic “powerhouse” because of its strategic location and access to the sea but this would only become possible if it improved ties with India.
Clinton said the perception in Pakistan that the US always extends support to India is “not true.” She was responding to a question from a student, who wanted to know why the US administration “always supports India” though Pakistan has stood with America in difficult situations.

Explaining the dynamics of the US’ ties with the two South Asian neighbours, Clinton said: “We are friends with both Pakistan and India, we work with both. We have given far more aid over many years to try to help Pakistan’s development.”
The relationship between the US and Pakistan dated back to this country’s creation in 1947 though there have been “some problems” and “ups and downs”, she said. “So it’s been challenging at times but we have had a consistent relationship with Pakistan,” she added. Clinton also listed occasions on which the US and Pakistan were “very closely connected.”

Clinton said she hoped the ongoing operation by the Pakistan army in Waziristan would end terrorism and extremism. The US will continue to assist the Pakistani military in this effort, she added.

Responding to another question on whether the US would help in efforts to put former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on trial for treason in Pakistan, she said the matter would have to be decided by the people and government of Pakistan.
An extensive security blanket was clamped on Lahore for Clinton’s visit and key roads and public areas were declared “no go areas” for citizens.