US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said that India’s decision not to send its troops to Afghanistan was in view of Pakistan’s opposition, as this would bring in new complexities in the region.

“It is really a very holistic approach that India is taking. You’ll notice I left off (Indian) boots (soldiers) on the ground because of the complexity that would bring to Pakistan,” Mattis said in response to a question from Congressman Doug Lamborn during the Congressional hearing on South Asia.

“We’re trying to make this an inclusive strategy and we don’t want them to get a sense that they’re vulnerable to any Indian Army people from their western flank, that’s not necessary,” Mattis said.

The defence secretary insisted that an open border trade between India and Pakistan would help in bringing regional stability.

“If there’s any way for Pakistan and India to open their border to trade at a great economic advantage to both of the countries, it would be a big help across the region,” he said.

Stability can follow economics as much as stability enables economics, he added. He hoped that they will eventually see that happen.