Finally, de-hyphenation

This is what Richard Boucher, US state department spokesman had to say about the MNNA affair

“I think the point that we made in the statement yesterday and that we tried to make repeatedly because it’s been ongoing for some time is that we are, shall we say, de-hyphenating the relationships that we have with India and Pakistan and that we are consigning the hyphen to history so that we have different relationships with Pakistan and with India.”

He went on to clarify that Washington’s relationship with India was based on a number of factors, including economic and strategic cooperation in a variety of areas.

“The most recent development, in fact, is a major step forward with what’s called the next steps in the strategic partnership,” he said.

Boucher said: “The question of our cooperation with Pakistan is a separate one. It’s based on a separate set of activities. Again, economics plays a role, but a different set of circumstances and also the cooperation against terrorism.

“And it’s in that regard, I think, where the major non-NATO ally status recommends itself in terms of what we do with Pakistan as various military sales and cooperation efforts against terrorism.

“So the answer to this is more that the relationships are different and therefore it was appropriate to do it with Pakistan. I take it India is saying they don’t see an interest in it, and that’s fine.”[New Kerala/IANS]

Do I hear the Indian foreign ministry folks go, Bingo!

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