No US forces stationed in India, says government news
03 March 2012

Both the external affairs and defence ministries have denied a statement by a top Pentagon brass, Admiral Robert Willard of the US Pacific Command, that US Special Forces teams are stationed in India to assist local authorities in counter-terrorism activities.

Admiral Willard had said in a prepared statement at a US Congressional hearing on counter-terrorism on Thursday that its forces were based in India as well as Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives to counter threats from organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

''The report is factually incorrect in so far as the reference to India is concerned. US Special Forces teams have never been stationed in India in the past, nor are such teams stationed in the country presently,'' said the defence ministry in an official statement.

The ministry of external affairs said in a separate statement that India interacted with the American Special Forces only during joint exercises here and abroad.

Adm Willard had told the Congress, ''We have currently special forces assist teams - Pacific assist teams is the term - laid down in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, as well as India.'' He was answering a question on co-operation with India on counter-terrorism issues.

Willard told lawmakers that the US and India are working together to contain LeT. ''Responsible for many attacks in India, including the horrific attacks in Mumbai, LeT is headquartered in Pakistan, affiliated with al-Qaeda and other VEOs (very extreme organisations), and contributes to terrorist operations in Afghanistan and aspires to operate against Asia, Europe and North America,'' he said.

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No US forces stationed in India, says government