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US urges Pakistan, India, Afghanistan to work together

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  1. abdulrafi

    abdulrafi FULL MEMBER

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    US urges Pakistan, India, Afghanistan to work together
    Updated at: 1437 PST, Thursday, October 01, 2009

    WASHINGTON: Stressing linkages between Pakistan, India and Afghanistan with regard to durable peace and stability in South Asia, the United States on Wednesday said it encourages dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi for developing a stable bilateral relationship.

    Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J Crowley said the U.S. is focused on the region and “understands clearly the importance of Afghanistan, the importance of Pakistan, the importance of India, and the interaction among those countries.”

    He said the U.S. wants all these countries to work “constructively together.”

    “This is kind of an inseparable you can’t look at peace and stability in South Asia without understanding the vitally important role played by all of these three countries and, obviously, the surrounding republics in Central Asia as well,” he said in response to a question at the daily State Department briefing.

    Continuing, Crowley said, “It’s one of the reasons why we changed our strategic focus, that you could not look at these countries in isolation.”

    Washington, he emphasized, has close ties with both Pakistan and India and “certainly encourages a dialogue India and Pakistan, two very important countries to the United States.”

    “We have a strategic relationship that is emerging with India. We have a vitally important relationship with Pakistan, are working hard to help Pakistan address the issue of extremism within its borders, and we are likewise very concerned about the cross-border activity between Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

    The U.S., he said, has talked with both Islamabad and New Delhi on their bilateral relationship.

    “And clearly, we have had discussions with both Pakistan and India on their relationship and how that affects the ability of any of these countries to address the challenges that exist within their respective borders.

    So we recognize the importance of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. We recognize the vital importance of a stable relationship between Pakistan and India, and we continue to encourage all of these countries to work constructively together,” the Assistant Secretary observed.

    Crowley was responding to a question when his attention was drawn to the impression that the U.S. was heavily focused on the Afghan border but not on the Indian side and Kashmir while an article in the New York Times implied that the militants could blow up the whole region.

    The spokesman spoke days after Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart S M Krishna met on the margins of UN General Assembly session in New York. The top diplomats of the two South Asian nuclear powers agreed on the need to have good neighborly relations but did set no timeframe for resumption of the dialogue process, stalled since late last year’s Mumbai attacks, blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

    “We certainly have encouraged and continue to encourage Pakistan to fully investigate the Mumbai attacks, and even more importantly, bring those responsible before their judicial system,” he said in reply to another question.