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Pak journalist Rashid admits Indo-Pak ties have warmed though no breakthrough achieved

Islamabad, Sat, 07 Apr 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Apr 7(ANI): Noted Pakistan journalist Ahmed Rashid has admitted that progress has taken place in improving Indo-Pak ties and added that trade talks have been encouraging.

"I wouldn't exactly say a breakthrough, but there has been a huge warming up of relations compared to what was there before," The Wall Street Journal quoted him, as saying.

On being asked economic ties are overruling the way India feels about Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, he said: "I think India would not like to see Pakistan suffer more economically, because that could put a burden on the entire region."

He said India has not been a major issue for Pakistan since 2004 in reply to whether Pakistan has been focused on India.

"Since 2004... India has not been such a major issue. Certainly, the budgetary focus, the defense spending is aimed at India, and if there is a foreign-policy dilemma in Afghanistan, it's partly India-driven. But I will say it's an internal crisis shown by a lack of vision by our politicians and generals who have not been able to wake up to reality," he added.

He claimed that the US wants to retain its 20,000 troops in Afghanistan but that could prove tough if one were to recall the situation in Iraq.

"I think the whole program has to be reassessed. The Americans want to stay on. They want to keep 20,000 troops behind, but that could prove to be very difficult. We saw what happened in Iraq, they wanted to keep 20,000 troops in Iraq. And Iraqis asked them to leave. There are no troops there. I think everything is very unsettled at the moment," he added. (ANI)

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