The US intends to give Indian investigators access to David Coleman Headley, a key accused in the 26/11 terror attack, US Consul General at Mumbai Paul Folmsbee has said.
“The intention is that. The statement by President Barack Obama saying that they are looking at ways to make it happen clearly states our intentions,” Mr. Folmsbee told PTI when asked whether India would get access to Headley.
He said it was laudable that the U.S. and India have been sharing ground intelligence. “Five or ten years ago one would have not imagined both the countries doing that. This is a great development,” he said.
On India’s concerns over massive hike in U.S. aid to Pakistan, Mr. Folmsbee said the assistance was necessary to bring back stability to Pakistan.
“There is great instability in Pakistan. The U.S. sees the need to help and support Pakistan to stabilise it,” said the US official, who has earlier worked in Pakistan as country director for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement programmes.
Mr. Folmsbee made it clear that the US relationship with Pakistan was not linked to India.
“That relationship is not linked to India which is also our partner. I do not think that is a significant issue personally. I think as we move into future we should think about bigger world, bigger India and stable Pakistan,” he said.
On Indo-Pak relations, Mr. Folmsbee said the two countries could see “new and greater partnerships“.
He admitted that India and the US have different views on Iran and it understands and respects New Delhi’s own relationship with Tehran.
“India as a sovereign country has to pursue policies which are in its national interest and so we have to respect India’s point of view and understand that it has its own relationship with Iran”, he said.
“U.S. and India agree on many things and disagree on certain other things. I think Iran is one of those examples where we have different perspectives and we each respect the other country’s views,” Mr. Folmsbee said.
He said different views on Iran will not have any affect on bilateral relations of both the countries.
Folmsbee said that the relationship between the two countries has strengthened over the last few years and evolved into a strategic partnership.
“The greatest thing that I can see in the relationship between the two countries is people to people contacts which are strengthening the relationship in a great way,” the Consul General said.