Sep 18 2013, 10:00am CDT | by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 18 — US Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter said Wednesday that India does not pose any threat to Pakistan, adding that "terrorism and extremism" were the greatest challenges for the Nawaz Sharif government.
Talking to a select group of mediamen here after holding extensive talks with Prime Minister Manmiohan Singh and Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indo-US defence cooperation, Carter said that Pakistan needed a conducive security environment for its economic development.
Pakistan should not worry about any security threat from India and instead focus on tackling the menace of terrorism and extremism in the country which hampers its development, he said.
Carter also held wideranging talks with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Defence Secretary A.K. Mathur and discussed various proposals regarding jointly developing and producing defence equipment so as to take defence relations to a new level.
India has also shown interest in purchasing six more C-130J Super Hercules medium-lift transport aircraft, Chinook transport helicopters, Apache attack helicopters and howtizers from the US.
Asked whether india and the US have finalised defence deals worth several billion dollars for supply of these equipment, Carter said the issue would come up for discussion in the forthcoming meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama in Washington later this month.
Manmohan Singh is also expected to meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the fringes of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
Carter said finalisation of the agreement would take some time more but was confident that the two countries would further cement and enhance their defence ties.
Carter also visited Afghanistan and Pakistan where he met the top leadership and discussed various security related issues.
On withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, he said that the US would not totally abandon Afghanistan.
He said that security responsiblity of various provinces have been transferred to Afghan defence forces, which were doing a commendable job.
He admitted a lot of defence equipment is being sent back home through Pakistan.
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