Obama Explains U.S.-Pakistan Alliance to India's Parliament
President Obama mentioned Pakistan only briefly during his speech this morning to the Indian parliament, and when he did he sought to explain the U.S.'s continued alliance with Pakistan (complicated as it is) in light of the war in Afghanistan.
He also pledged that the U.S. will continue to push Pakistan to bring to justice the terrorists responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, although it's now assumed by many that Pakistan's intelligence agency had something to do with those attacks, as India had suspected since they were carried out. Just last month, The Guardian obtained an internal report on the interrogation of a suspect, David Headley, a Pakistani-American militant who alleged that the ISI funded and supported the attacks in order to bolster Pakistani militant groups with close ties to Pakistan's government, which were being marginalized by more radical groups.
Here's what Obama said, from the official White House transcript:
Our strategy to disrupt and dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates has to succeed on both sides of the [Afghan] border. And that's why we have worked with the Pakistani government to address the threat of terrorist networks in the border region. The Pakistani government increasingly recognizes that these networks are not just a threat outside of Pakistan --- they are a threat to the Pakistani people, as well. They've suffered greatly at the hands of violent extremists over the last several years.
And we'll continue to insist to Pakistan's leaders that terrorist safe havens within their borders are unacceptable, and that terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks must be brought to justice. (Applause.) We must also recognize that all of us have an interest in both an Afghanistan and a Pakistan that is stable and prosperous and democratic --- and India has an interest in that, as well.
In pursuit of regional security, we will continue to welcome dialogue between India and Pakistan, even as we recognize that disputes between your two countries can only be resolved by the people of your two countries.
And here is video, from the Associated Press: