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US Wants Continued Action From Pak to Fight Terror
Not satisfied with Pakistan's efforts in fighting terrorism, the US today said it wants to see more action from the country in combating the menace that is not only a threat to India and the US but also to its own self.

Speaking on a range of issues concerning the South Asian region to women journalists here, American ambassador Nancy J Powell said also said that the US would like to see a greater play of India's "soft power" in Afghanistan as it establishes a new democracy.

Asked to comment on Pakistan's fight against terrorism, she said more action was the need of the hour.

"I think all of us want to see continued action on terrorism. It is a threat to both India and the US and to Pakistan itself... And we want to see additional action, we want to see additional efforts," she said.

The American envoy, however, was more vocal on what she wanted from India in battle-ravaged Afghanistan and referred to President Hamid Karzai's strong emphasis on Indian investments in his country.

Asked what role the US expected from India, she said: "President Karzai was very very emphatic on one of them during his visit last week, talking about the red carpet for Indian investments to come to Afghanistan. We certainly see that as one role".

She pointed out how India had hosted an investment conference for Afghanistan last year and referred to India's strategic dialogue with Afghanistan, but she also turned to "something that doesn't get very much attention here -- India's soft power".

"(There are) a number of things by virtue of your proximity and your democracy that can be very very important for Afghanistan -- things like the role of the Election Commission in the electoral process," she said.

Powell said given the fact that cultural matters like Bollywood and other things influence a variety of attitudes and approaches, Afghanistan can gain a lot through this side of India.

"Consider the role of women journalists for budding Afghan women journalists, think about what role you might play in training with them, and in other professions, in protecting the gains they have made," she said.

Talking about the West Asian crisis, Powell strongly reiterated America's support for Israel, even as Gaza reels under incessant military attacks and civilian casualties.

"You have to recognise the rocket attacks on Israeli territory. No nation is going to tolerate that, the right of self defence is there," she stated.

The US administration, she said, is reaching out to stakeholders, to bring them to the table and also to 'publics' who are increasingly playing an important role after the Arab Spring.

"Obama has made several calls from Air Force One while travelling to East Asia," she said.

Powell also made it clear that President Barack Obama's visit to Myanmar, should not be seen as an endorsement of the country's regime but of the change in policy it has adopted of late.

"This is not an endorsement of Myanmar's government but of the change that has taken place and the recognition of a new policy by the government to look at human rights, to look at democracy and to encourage that trend," she said when asked if she felt it was too early for Obama to travel to the country.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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