Barack Obama says his administration made 'no distinction' between terrorists targeting India and United States

New Delhi: Former United States president Barack Obama on Friday said his administration made no distinction between Pakistan-based terror groups who at times targeted Indian and on other occasions American interests.

He also told the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit that he had offered every intelligence and military help to New Delhi to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack of 2008, blamed on Pakistani terrorists.


Obama was asked how he would address Indian concerns that the terror "we face is treated differently than the terror you face". He said he couldn't speak for other United States administrations but that definitely was not the case with his government.

"I can say that is not how we viewed it. When the crisis, the tragedy in Mumbai took place, we were as obsessed with how to dismantle this terror network as India was.

File image of US president Barack Obama. AP

File image of US president Barack Obama. AP

"And in fact, our intelligence and military personnel were immediately deployed to work with the Indian government in any ways that the Indian government determined would be helpful in getting this done."

He, however, said the "true and understandable source of frustration" in India was based on "some connections between explicit terrorist organisations based in Pakistan and elements that are connected to various more official entities inside Pakistan.

"But that is not just true for terrorist organisations that were directed at India. That is true for those like Haqqani that killed US soldiers and that poses a difficulty."

He said there was a "historic recognition...that terrorism of any sort directed at any country has a way of metastasising and you cannot say it is their problem because eventually it becomes your problem later".


Asked if Pakistan knew Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad where the US Navy SEALS shot him dead on 2 May, 2011, Obama said there was no evidence to suggest that.

"We had no evidence that the Pakistan government was aware of bin Landen's presence there. That is something obviously that we looked at," said Obama, who oversaw the operation.

Asked if it meant a neglect by Islamabad, Obama told journalist Karan Thapar that he would "leave it to you to characterise beyond what I just said".

Obama also talked about the blow-hot-blow-cold Pakistan-US ties, saying Islamabad had been a partner in many ways but some elements, which he refused to name, were not so good.

"Pakistan has been in many ways a partner in fighting against certain terrorist organisations. But it is also true that there are elements that some times have not been good partners with us."


Published Date: Dec 01, 2017 05:08 pm | Updated Date: Dec 01, 2017 05:08 pm



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