India is “not like the US” to launch an Abbottabad-like covert operation in Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Thursday.
“India is not like the US,” the visiting Indian prime minister said when asked by a reporter if India would launch a similar operation like the US did to kill Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, May 2.
The prime minister was addressing a joint press conference with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Asked if India would mount a covert operation if it has credible evidence of Indian fugitives living in Pakistan, Singh said he could not answer the question “as strategies of dealing with war on terror are not publicly spoken in press conferences”.
Singh expressed India’s strong support to a plan by Kabul to reconcile with Taliban-led insurgents in a hope to bring an end to the war, New Delhi’s first public backing of the plan.
“India’s development assistance commitment is approximately $1.5 billion, but there are still gaps,” Singh said. “We have made a fresh commitment of $500 million over the next few years.”
“Singh’s visit is just one part of India’s ‘soft touch’ diplomacy towards Afghanistan, which causes jealousy in Pakistan,” said Saeed Naqvi, a fellow at the Observer Research Foundation think-tank in New Delhi. “India has pursued better links by building schools, hospitals and roads, while Bin Laden’s death in Pakistan has damaged Islamabad’s reputation.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2011.