US Relations with India NOT at the expense of Pakistan, top US envoy

US Relations with India NOT at the expense of Pakistan, top US envoy

WASHINGTON: William Todd, the Trump administration’s nominated ambassador to Islamabad, has termed Pakistan an “essential partner” in the region and suggested that the US relations with India should not come at the expense of Pakistan.

Addressing the Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, William Todd said that the US can have a strong relationship with both India and Pakistan.

“Our hope is that both countries will take the necessary steps to reduce tensions, and as President Trump has offered, we are prepared to facilitate dialogue if both sides request it,” he said, adding that to truly reduce regional tensions, and rebuild a strong relationship with Washington, Islamabad must take sustained and irreversible action against terrorism.

‘Action against militants must continue’

While acknowledging Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war on terror, the envoy-designate noted that the country has committed publicly to ensure terrorists cannot use its territory to operate.

“Pakistan has taken important steps toward fulfilling that commitment but needs to continue that work,” he said.

Vowing to work with Pakistan to advance shared interest in eliminating terrorism from its territory and advancing security in the region, he said that he would actively engage Pakistan on such issues, as well as, “strategic stability and non-proliferation, carrying a clear message on the threat that nuclear weapons pose to the United States, the region, and our allies and partners. Pakistan needs to demonstrate it is prepared to live up to international commitments on weapons of mass destruction.”