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India,Pak should forget differences, support Afghan: Steinberg

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India and Pakistan should forget their "differences" and support the growth of Afghanistan which is witnessing withdrawal of combat forces, Former US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg has said.

"India and Pakistan must support the Afghan growth forgetting their own differences since it will benefit both. Things are very nascent there," Steinberg, who was principal deputy to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told PTI.

He said India has a major role to play post NATO withdrawal in Afghanistan in terms of economy, politics and security.

The former deputy secretary said the US was looking closely at the security situation and the elections in Pakistan.

"They (Pakistan) must understand that having stability in the country is important. We have been supporting them. But they must take it positively. Pakistan must know where their benefits lie," he said.

Steinberg said the US has a lot of interests in keeping South Asia calm and believe in rules-based solutions.

"I never believed that India would partner with the US to contain China. But India would never want anyone to be a powerful force in the region. We do not expect India to be a partner to contain China which will imbibe within them the feeling of containment," he said.

Steinberg, presently the Dean of the Maxwell School, Syracuse University and University Professor of Social Science, International Affairs and Law, also served as Deputy National Security Advisor to former US President Bill Clinton from 1996 to 2000.

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First Published: Fri, May 03 2013. 16:10 IST