US No Longer Sees India Through 'Prism of Pak'

Ajay Kaul, New Delhi
US No Longer Sees India Through 'Prism of Pak'
The US no longer looks at India through the "prism" of Pakistan, according to outgoing US Ambassador to India David Mulford, who describes "de-hyphenating of India-Pakistan obsession" as a major accomplishment of his four-year tenure.

"One of the accomplishments has been to de-hyphenate the India-Pak obsession that was present when I got here. We set out to do that," he told PTI in an interview, his last as the American envoy here.

He sought to dispel apprehensions that the Barack Obama administration may not be as "warm" towards India as the previous Bush government, saying the new dispensation in Washington realises India's importance and would be "extending" the bilateral relationship that has seen tremendous growth over the last five years.

"The Obama administration shares the view that India is very important country to the US. There is very high regard for India and Indians living in the US. I think the Obama administration is fully aware of this and will seek to extend the relationship. I don't think there is any doubt about it," the outgoing envoy said.

 The US Ambassador also disclosed that the FBI officials, who had spent time in Mumbai to help investigate the terror attack in which 183 people, including six American nationals, lost their lives, were willing to testify at the trial against the lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab.

"My understanding is they (FBI) will be prepared to testify," he said when asked whether the sleuths would depose in the case.

Noting that the FBI had cooperated for the first time with Indian agencies in a terror investigation here, Mulford said the American sleuths directly interacted with the Mumbai police and worked with them in an "open and transparent fashion".

Underlining that FBI used high quality technology to probe the attack case, he said "the evidence we gathered has high credibility and once it was passed to Pakistan and other countries who were adversely affected, people had to pay serious attention."

He said the evidence was "very very compelling" to emphasise the point that the terror attack was "planned in Pakistan, it was managed from Pakistani territory, the people came from Pakistan and all that is very very clear."

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