News / Asia

US Defense Chief Warns Al-Qaida Intends to Provoke India-Pakistan War

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates at a news conference in New Delhi, 20 Jan 2010
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates at a news conference in New Delhi, 20 Jan 2010

Multimedia

America's defense secretary is warning that al-Qaida, and what he calls its "syndicate" in South Asia, could provoke a new war between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, visiting India, is delivering a bleak assessment of the security situation in what he calls the "very dangerous region."  Speaking to reporters in the Indian capital, he warned a syndication of terrorist groups under the al-Qaida umbrella - benefiting from the successes of each other - intends to destabilize the region with further attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

In his meetings with Indian government leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gates praised New Delhi's statesmanship and restraint following the Mumbai attack, which is blamed on Pakistani-based insurgents.  But the defense chief is cautioning that such restraint cannot be expected again, if India suffers a similar assault. 

"I think it's not unreasonable to assume that Indian patience would be limited were there to be further attacks," he said.

The November 2008 attack on India's commercial capital, blamed on Lashkar-e-Taiba, killed more than 160 people.

Gates was asked by reporters whether the United States favors India sending troops to Afghanistan to assist the multi-national coalition battling insurgents there.

"Let's be honest with one another here.  There are real suspicions in both India and Pakistan about what the other is doing in Afghanistan," he said.

Gates is requesting both New Delhi and Islamabad to be "fully transparent" with each other about their activities in Afghanistan to allay suspicions, adding they should focus on development aid, humanitarian assistance and training in limited areas.

Gates, who was appointed by then President George W. Bush in late 2006, has not made a visit to India as part of the Obama Cabinet until now.  During the Bush era, defense cooperation between India and the United States warmed to an unprecedented degree, which the Pentagon is looking to further expand under the present administration.

Gates told reporters that, in his meetings with Prime Minister Singh, as well as India's external affairs and defense ministers, they discussed the military build-up by China, with which India shares a still-disputed border.

American and Indian defense officials say they agree that there should be greater engagement with Beijing, to prevent misunderstandings and potential miscalculations.
 

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs