A stable Afghanistan necessary for better Indo-Pak relation, says Tillerson

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'The things that the USA can do to help alleviate some of the tensions on Pakistan's borders around Afghanistan and in India, ' the official said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would be embarking on his Asia tour comprising a visit to Pakistan and India as well, said a State Department official on Wednesday.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday that the US was open to UN reforms to expand the permanent membership of the Security Council but the key for India to get there would be to "not touch" the issue of veto power that current members are neither willing to share nor give up. Pence also accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan in the near future.

"Not really. They really can't".

Speaking at an event organized on the US Capitol by US India Friendship Council, Halley further said that of all the members of the Security Council - Russia and China are most adamant on not allowing any reform in the Council.

Ms Haley recalled that US President Donald Trump had taken a "tougher approach" to Pakistan for allegedly "harbouring terrorists" and wanted Islamabad to eliminate the so-called terrorist safe havens from its soil.

Leading experts from the United States and Britain at the seminar on "The new U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia: Challenges and Prospects" at the influential International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) dwelt at length on the new contours of the strategy and sought to allay some misconceptions about it in Pakistan.

"But, at the same time, New Delhi also remains wary, for two reasons: First, Trump has expressed concern that tense relations between India and Pakistan - two nuclear-armed regional powers - could spiral into conflict. India is a partner for peace in Afghanistan and we welcome their assistance efforts", he stated.

"This new approach will require understanding and restraint from both Pakistan and India", said the USA diplomat while explaining the U.S. position that the United States wanted to maintain separate relations with both nations.

"Second, New Delhi is also bewildered and troubled by Trump's perceived threat of trade repercussions, should India not deliver sufficient economic aid for Afghanistan".

"None of them (five permanent members) want to give that up".

"India is an important element of how we achieve the ultimate objective, which is a stable Afghanistan which no longer serves as a platform for terrorist organisations", he said.

Ms Haley said two of the five permanent members, Russian Federation and China, opposed any changes in the current structure of the Security Council and could also keep India out if it tried to acquire veto powers. "So, the key to getting India on the Security Council would have to be not to touch the veto", Ms Haley said. She added that Russian Federation and China were against any change in the structure of the body.

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