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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

World

'Indo-Pak relations might affect India's Afghan role'
PTI
Washington, April 18, 2013
First Published: 08:05 IST(18/4/2013)
Last Updated: 08:08 IST(18/4/2013)

Asserting that India can play a huge role in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that because of the relationship between New Delhi and Islamabad it is "complicated circle" between the war-torn nation, Pakistan and India.

As such, ahead of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in 2014, the US would have to work diligently, Kerry said in response to a question from Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera on India's role in Afghanistan.

"India can play a huge role. I have been a longtime big believer in India's capacity to be an enormously important partner in a number of different things," Kerry said.

Bera is the only Indian-American lawmaker in the US House of Representatives.

"I recall taking the first trade mission to India in the 1990s when they first began their economic transformation, a far cry from where India is today. I've always believed in India because of their democracy, because of their tradition, there are great reasons for us to partner with them in many significant ways. But India and Pakistan obviously have a very different relationship," he said.

"So it's a very complicated circle between Afghanistan, Pakistan, India. How much India's in Afghanistan affects Pakistan's views, and they each have a capacity to see bad things happening depending on what the other does. So we have to work at that diligently," Kerry said.

"I know there have been trilateral negotiations between the US, India and Afghanistan to again stabilise the region and a recognition of India's critical role in helping maintain those goals and the stability and the economics of South Asia," Bera said.

"I'd like to hear from you just an update on how those negotiations are going and your thoughts, as we're drawing down, on how we maintain the gains and the safety and don't let terror re- emerge in Afghanistan," the Indian American Congressman said.

"I'm curious about your perspective on India's role in helping develop an economy in Afghanistan," he added.


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