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US Seeks to Ease India Concerns About Pakistan


The United States is seeking to ease Indian concerns about the growing U.S. partnership with Pakistan and Islamabad's increasing role in Afghanistan.

U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said Thursday that India's role in regional security is not being diminished by improved U.S. relations with Pakistan.

Speaking in New Delhi, he said Afghanistan cannot be stabilized without Pakistan's participation. India has concerns that an Afghan reconciliation plan for Taliban fighters gives rival Pakistan a more prominent role.

The top U.S. military officer was also in New Delhi Thursday, and noted that Washington has expanded military ties with both India and Pakistan in recent years.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen acknowledged the two nations disagree on many things about Afghanistan. But he said they both want to see a stable, secure government in Kabul.

Admiral Mullen is meeting with his new Indian counterpart, Air Chief Marshall Pradeep Vasant Naik. He will visit Islamabad later in the week.

Tensions run deep between India and Pakistan, whose dispute over the Kashmir region has led to decades of hostility and triggered two of the countries' three wars.

Peace talks between the two nations were suspended after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which India blamed on Pakistan-based militants. The Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers met earlier this month for the first time since the Mumbai attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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