India not your mortal enemy: Obama to Pak

Washington: In a lengthy pep-talk to Pakistan, US President Barack Obama has asked it not to view India as its "mortal enemy", shed its Afghan-India paranoia and realise that a "peaceful approach" towards New Delhi would be in everybody`s interests.

"They see their security interests threatened by an independent Afghanistan in part because they think it will ally itself to India, and Pakistan still considers India their mortal enemy," Obama said on Thursday at a press conference at the East Room of the White House. "Part of what we want to do is actually get Pakistan to realise that a peaceful approach towards India would be in everybody`s interests, and would help Pakistan actually develop…," he said.

Obama`s remarks came when he was asked whether he agreed with his former top military commander Mike Mullen`s accusations that Pakistan`s ISI has used the Haqqani network as a veritable arm. The US President noted that one of the biggest problems facing Pakistan right now were poverty, illiteracy, a lack of development, civil institutions that are not strong enough to deliver for the Pakistani people. "And in that environment you`ve seen extremism grow. You have seen militancy grow that doesn`t just threaten our efforts in Afghanistan but also threatens the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people as well," he said. "So trying to get that reorientation is something that we`re continuing to work on; it`s not easy," he said.