Washington: Every time the US tries to improve its ties with India, it creates a lot of "cognitive dissonance" in Pakistan where the Indo-American relations have become a zero-sum game, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
    
Whenever, "We make a move toward improving our relationship with India, which we started ... in the '90s, and it's been bipartisan, with both President (Bill) Clinton and President (Barack) Obama and President (George W ) Bush, the Pakistanis find that creates a lot of cognitive dissonance," she said.
    
"So are you our friend or their friend? It's all a zero-sum game to them," she said on Thursday during a hearing on Pakistan at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    
Clinton also said that she was encouraged by the resumption of talks between India and Pakistan.
    
At the same time, she expressed support to India's stand that Pakistan needs to prevent the use of its territory against India, conceding that this is one of the greatest impediments to peace talks between the two countries.
    
"With respect to India, we are working very hard on our strategic partnership with the country," Clinton said in response to a question.
     
"I think it's fair to say that, you know, India looks at Pakistan and, believes that their continuing support for elements of insurgency against India in Kashmir and across the border into India proper makes it very difficult for them to know what path to choose," Clinton said.

"But I've been encouraged by the cricket diplomacy between Prime Minister Singh and Prime Minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani. I've been encouraged by the resumption of talks that had broken off in 2008," Clinton said.
    
"We have certainly urged both sides to go as far as they could to build more confidence and to try to be able to develop an atmosphere of greater cooperation," she said.
    
She also told the Senators that Pakistan is apprehensive of Afghanistan becoming a satellite state of India and they want to prevent that.
    
"You know, India and Afghanistan have a historical affinity. And historically, Afghanistan has supported elements within Afghanistan which Pakistan has seen as inimical to its own interests. So if Pakistan could be assured that what would be left would be favourable to and even, in their view, subservient to Pakistani interests, that would be fine with them.”

"The Indians are not going to sit around and accept that. The Uzbeks and the Tajiks are not going to sit around and just accept that," Clinton said.

(Agencies)