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'India has critical role in resolving Afghan crisis'

India is a "great power" and has a critical role in resolving the Afghanistan crisis, Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has said.

world Updated: Mar 22, 2009 07:03 IST

India is a "great power" and has a critical role in resolving the Afghanistan crisis, Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has said.

Speaking at the Brussels Forum on Saturday, Holbrooke said India is "not part of the problem the way Pakistan is but they're certainly a major factor in resolving" the situation in Afghanistan.

The Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential political, corporate, and intellectual leaders worldwide to address pressing challenges facing both sides of the Atlantic.

Holbrooke said, "India, of course, is the great power of the region, the great emerging in an international context and its views, its role are a critical factor. And so we consult India closely every step of the way and on my first trip to the region I went to India."

He added: "The actual people who pose a direct threat to the countries represented in this room, the people who planned 9/11, who killed Benazir Bhutto, who committed the atrocities in Mumbai, who were terrorising Swat, who probably were associated with the attack on the cricket team in Lahore, who are associated with daily outrages -- they are not in Afghanistan. They're in Pakistan. In the western so-called tribal areas, although it also extends down into Baluchistan."