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India warned US not to be drawn into Pak's India-driving "game" on Afghanistan

June 8, 2011 - New Delhi

Last year, India had warned the United States of Pakistan's "game" of enlisting American support to "drive India out of Afghanistan" by presenting "fabricated" evidence of alleged Indian misdeeds in the region, a leaked diplomatic cable has revealed.

"In a February 22 meeting, YK Sinha- India's A/S equivalent for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran- welcomed increased GOI-USG coordination "at all levels" on our respective assistance activities in Afghanistan," said a cable classified by Political Counsellor Uzra Zeya.

According to the 2010 cable, Sinha contended that "it is quite clear to India" that Pakistan views Afghanistan "as a zero sum game and they want India out of Afghanistan."

He also stated that "we will not leave Afghanistan because we have strategic interests there."

Acknowledging that Washington "needs Pakistan for many things right now," Sinha counselled that the US Government beware of Pakistan's "game" of enlisting American support to "drive India out of Afghanistan."

He suggested that Islamabad would likely present USG officials with "fabricated" evidence of alleged Indian misbehaviour in Afghanistan or the border areas, namely the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.

Sinha also told PolCouns that India welcomes increased coordination with the US Government "at all levels, here and in Kabul" regarding assistance activities in Afghanistan, "so that our respective interests are not undermined by Pakistan."

According to the cable obtained by Dawn through whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, Sinha proposed a meeting in the near future between Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and the US Ambassador as a useful step in this direction.

"PolCouns affirmed our keen interest in such coordination, as Afghanistan remains a top priority issue for USG visitors to India," the cable added.


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