Kerry calls for India's central role in Afghan polls in 2014

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New Delhi, June 24: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said India could play a "central role" in Afghanistan's elections next year as he warned of potential challenges emerging in the war-torn nation once the western forces withdraw.

Kerry said the world's largest democracy could help the Afghanistani government to improve its electoral system and create a credible framework to settle disputes. He arrived in Delhi on Sunday on a three-day visit to kick-start the strategic dialogue with Indian officials.

Afghanistan will hold its presidential elections on April 5 next year when the incumbent Hamid Karzai is due to step down.

New Delhi and Washington, have, however adopted different strategy on the key security issue of establishing peace in the violence-ravaged nation. While the US has started talks with the Taliban, India has objected to it, saying it could lead to conferring legitimacy to insurgent groups and send a wrong signal that two competing state authorities were active in the country.

Kerry's visit is also believed to give New Delhi an opportunity to seek details from the USA over reports that India was the fifth most-tracked country by the American intelligence, which reportedly used a secret data-mining programme to monitor worldwide Internet data.

John Kerry speaks

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on US-India Strategic Partnership in New Delhi.

John Kerry and Salman Khurshid

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid with US Secretary of State John Kerry before a meeting in New Delhi.

John Kerry greets

US Secretary of State John Kerry greets his audience in New Delhi.

John Kerry at Air Force Station

US Secretary of State John Kerry on his arrival at Air Force Station, Palam, New Delhi.

John Kerry speaks on US-India Strategic Partnership

US  Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on US -India Strategic Partnership in New Delhi.

John Kerry and Salman Khurshid

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid with US Secretary of State John Kerry before a meeting in New Delhi.

John Kerry and Salman Khurshid

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid with US Secretary of State John Kerry before a meeting in New Delhi.

John Kerry and Salman Khurshid

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and US Secretary of State John Kerry greet each other in New Delhi.

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