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Indian Embassy chides Hagel for 2011 remark

The Embassy of India chided secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel late Monday for suggesting in a previously unreleased 2011 speech that India has "for many years" sponsored terrorist activities against Pakistan in Afghanistan. 

"India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan" in Afghanistan, Hagel said during a 2011 address on Afghanistan at Oklahoma's Cameron University, according to video of the speech obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. 

A spokesperson for the Embassy of India told the Free Beacon that Hagel's remarks are not grounded in "reality." 

"Such comments attributed to Sen. Hagel, who has been a long-standing friend of India and a prominent votary of close India-U.S. relations, are contrary to the reality of India's unbounded dedication to the welfare of the Afghan people," the spokesperson said to the Free Beacon in an e-mail.

"India's commitment to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is unwavering, and this is reflected in our significant assistance to Afghanistan in developing its economy, infrastructure and institutional capacities," the spokesperson said. "Our opposition to terrorism and its safe havens in our neighborhood is firm and unshakeable." 

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