New Delhi, Apr 8 (ANI): President Barack Obama's Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, clarified on Wednesday that he would not press India for resuming peace talks with Pakistan.
Addressing a joint press briefing in New Delhi with Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Holbrooke said, "We did not come here to ask India to do anything."
Holbrooke, during his recent visit to Pakistan had said: Washington cannot negotiate between the two countries, they should normalise mutual ties."
Holbrooke's statement came as a relief to the Indian leadership, which has been concerned over Washington's intentions to mediate between Pakistan and India in view of improving the relations between the two nations, which were strained after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Holbrooke, however, acknowledged that the center of terrorism threat lies in Pakistan.
"For the first time since partition," the national interests of the three countries (India,U.S.,Pakistan) are at stake over a single issue, Holbrooke said.
Holbrooke also said that Afghan President Hamid Karzai would remain in office between terms as the nation elects a new leader. He said India was critical in helping to resolve the conflicts in the region.
"We can't settle issues like Afghanistan without India's full involvement," he said. "India's Afghanistan aid program parallels U.S. priorities."
Meanwhile, Admiral Mullen also maintained that India's role in supplementing US efforts to defeat terrorism was considered vital.
"India is a vital leader in the region...the role that India plays is absolutely critical." Admiral Mullen said. (ANI)