If reconciled, Taliban militants could turn on India: Nicholas Burns

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New Delhi, Aug.18 (ANI): Expressing reservations over the idea of opening up communication channels with certain sections of Taliban, the former United States Deputy Secretary of State, Nicholas Burns, on Tuesday said that the US should resolve the problem keeping in view the regional context.

"Reconciling with Taliban is very complex and there is a risk that after the talks these militants could turn on India. We (US) should go ahead to look at the problem in the regional context," said Nicholas Burns in the capital.

Burns, who retired from the U.S. foreign office a year-and-a-half ago, on Tuesday was here in Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) where he addressed ex-diplomats and strategists.

U S has been suffering major setbacks in combating Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and under its new AfPak policy, it is planning to hold talks with what it calls "Good Taliban" and would carry on its offensive against the 'Bad Taliban'.

New Delhi is however skeptical about any reconciliation with militants and does not believe in the "Good Taliban theory".

Burns further stressed that the U.S should deal with India and Pakistan singularly and there should be no 'hyphenation'.

"The US should have independent relationship with Pakistan and India," he added.

Calling India's role in Afghanistan as "positive and constructive", Burns said that Pakistan equipped with nuclear bombs and high instability is creating worries like no other country.

Burns said: "India could play an instrumental role in bringing Iran onboard as a nuclear Iran is not in the interest of India."

On the issue of Mumbai terror attack on 26/11 last year, Burns said: "Mumbai attack had evoked lot of sympathy in the United States and we should use this to motivate the two countries in countering terrorism not only in south Asia but other parts of the world as well."

Burns had played a key role during negotiations related to the Indo-U.S nuclear deal. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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