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Pakistan envoy: Time for calm

Nov. 30, 2008 at 5:27 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The Pakistani ambassador to the United States said Sunday that if India moves troops to the border, his country will respond in the same way.

Speaking on ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Ambassador Husain Haqqani said, "I don't think that this is the time for India or anybody in India to accuse Pakistan. It's time to work with Pakistan. Pakistan is now a democracy, India is a democracy, and as two democracies, we need to strengthen each other, rather than fall into the trap of the terrorists, who want us to fight with each other so that they can get greater strength."

The ambassador's comments came amid tensions between the two countries following terror attacks that killed scores in Mumbai, where some suspect the terror was exported from Pakistan.

Rejecting an analyst's comment that the terrorists "are at some level being harbored" by Pakistan, Haqqani said, "There are terrorists that have trained in all countries of the world, secretly. These are non-state actors."

Responding to a question of what Pakistan would do if India moved its troops to the Pakistan border, the ambassador said, "Pakistan would then have to of course bolster its military presence along the border with India, and that may have to take troops away from the Northwest Frontier Province and the border with Afghanistan (where al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists are believed hiding). Nobody wants that. India, I'm sure, will not want that either."

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