Washington, Mar 18: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao refuted claims that India was being sidelined in Washington"s Af-Pak policy and said that US recognises the crucial role played by India in reconstruction of Afghanistan.
“The United States fully recognizes that India has legitimate interests in Afghanistan. It appreciates the development work we do there," Ms. Rao said in a news agency report.
“It appreciates that we are force of stability and moderation in our region. We are not scaling down in Afghanistan," she added.
Rao, who is on her six-day visit to US, said that instead of looking for quick solution to problems, international community should prepare for the long haul.
"There are certain forces that spread terror. The Taliban is part of the very negative presence," Ms. Rao said.
"India as well as the international community has to stay involved in Afghanistan in order to deal with this problem that has been created by these extremist groups in this country.
"It is very important to deal with these problems in a way that Afghanistan becomes a stable and prosperous democracy.
"It this that is the core of what we are saying and what we convey to our friends like the United States," she said.