Shift focus to western border, Gates tells Pak

 The United States has asked Pakistan to shift its greater security role to the country’s western border with Afghanistan as it faces an “existential threat” rather than on the frontier with India.

Visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said Pakistan should commit itself to a greater role in its western border. He made these remarks during an interview with the state-run Pakistan Television while responding to questions on why the US believes Islamabad should commit itself to a greater role on its western borders. “Well, I think...because it faces, in its own way, an existential threat on its western border,” Gates said.

Asked if there was no threat to Pakistan on the eastern border with India, Gates replied: “I said we understood Pakistan’s legitimate concerns. It also has an existential threat on its western border, and that is the more immediate threat. “That is the threat where people have put suicide bombers in Pakistan cities, have killed Pakistani military officers and their families.

“This is the threat that faces Pakistan most immediately, and that’s the reason why I think, very intelligently, Pakistani leadership has taken action to prevent those kind of attacks from happening,” he said.
Over the past few months, the US has been nudging Pakistan to shift troops from the Indian border to its western frontier so that they can take on Taliban militants who attack foreign forces in Afghanistan.

However, Pakistan has been reluctant to reduce troop deployments along the Indian border. Gates also described as “exaggerated” Pakistan’s concerns about the Indian presence in Afghanistan.

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