Pakistan is 'frenemy' of US, not ally in war on terror: US Security expert

| Updated: Jun 27, 2017 05:56 IST

Washington DC [United States] June 27 (ANI): Pakistan is the United States' 'frenemy' and not an ally in war on terror, said a United States security expert on Monday. In an exclusive interview to ANI, Teresita C Schaffer, an expert on economic, political, security & risk management trends in India and Pakistan, said, "I hate to call Pakistan an ally and I know that was historically true but it is such a complicated relationship with lots of downs and a few ups. There is a phrase called 'frenemy'- a combination of friend and enemy. In some respects we are close friends with Pakistan and in other respects we are working in very different directions and that tension is going to continue." Hours before the much awaited meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, the security expert said that "right now Pakistan and the US relations are in very difficult shape and this will make things easier for India". She further lamented that "one of the things that is troublesome that Pakistan is the unseen figure in the room during an India and US conversation". She, however, admitted that "there is going to be a certain tension between the US view that at the end of the day you need Pakistan in order to achieve a stable Afghanistan and the safe departure of the US fighting forces". Commenting on China, Schaffer said that China has become a strategic rival of both India and the US. "China is a traditional strategic rival of India, and moreover recently a strategic rival of the United States. India and the United States have recognised for some years now that there are strategic interests with respect to China are actually very similar. They (India and the US) don't like to talk about it publicly but I think that is the realty," the security expert said. Meanwhile, India has welcomed Washington's decision to designate Hizbul Chief Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin, as a 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist.' The announcement came after Prime Minister Modi met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis. Commenting on the development Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in a statement, "In that sense we would welcome this notification and also underlines strongly that both India and US face threat of terrorism and are working together to counter this threat." He added that this move by the U.S. vindicates India's long standing position that cross border terrorism from Pakistan has been behind the disturbances created in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Salahuddin is the senior leader of the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen. In September, 2016, Salahuddin vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Kashmir valley "into a graveyard for Indian forces." Under Salahuddin's tenure as senior Hizbul leader, the terror outfit has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people. Later in the day, Prime Minister Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump will have a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office of the White House for 20-minutes between 3.50 p.m. and 4.10 p.m. (EST) (that is tentatively between 1.20 a.m. and 1.40 a.m. IST. (ANI)