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India's role in Afghanistan lauded

January 28, 2009 10:18 IST

A top US military commander has appreciated the positive role being played by India in Afghanistan.

"I also believe India plays an important role here (in Afghanistan)," Admiral Mike Mullen [Images], Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff told media persons at the Washington Foreign Press Centre, in response to question on role of regional countries in Afghanistan.

"India has taken significantly positive steps to invest in Afghanistan -- has for some period of time," Mullen said.
Reiterating the recent statements made by President Obama [Images] of adopting a regional approach in resolving the Afghan problem, Mullen said: "I think there -- when I talk about a regional approach, I include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, as well as India."

He said the regional countries in there have a very significant stake in stability and in outcomes which are positive in that region, as opposed to those that might go in the other direction.

"So I think the strategic leadership and views, opinions and support provided by India will be very clear," Mullen said.

Referring to the Mumbai [Images] terrorists attack resulting in heightened tension between India and Pakistan, Mullen said: "There's certainly a historic tension that's there between Pakistan and India, obviously accentuated greatly as the result of the Mumbai attacks."

The US Admiral said he comforted that the strategic leadership in both Pakistan and India has been such that there has not been break out of any conflict as a result of the Mumbai terrorists attack.

"I think continuing in that direction in important -- in the future is very important, as we resolve that particular -- the Mumbai attacks, I think properly as opposed to getting in any kind of conflict."

So each country has got significant stakes in the region, he said. "I think it's the joint contribution of all those countries, which would help us move - which could help us move forward in a positive way," Mullen said.

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