US, India must improve ties with Pakistan: Panetta

US, India must improve ties with Pakistan

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is telling an Indian conference that the U.S. and India must work to overcome deep differences with Pakistan to bolster peace and security in South Asia.

Panetta is meeting with Indian leaders Tuesday and Wednesday and says he has urged them to provide additional support to Afghanistan, including trade, reconstruction and assistance for the Afghan security forces. His visit here comes as U.S. tensions with Pakistan, India’s archrival, continue to fray, strained by persistent CIA drone attacks against insurgents inside Pakistan’s borders. His speech struck a conciliatory tone but also acknowledged the rocky relations with Pakistan. He said he welcomed steps that India and Pakistan have taken to normalize trade relations as a way to help Pakistan counter extremism within its borders.-Khaleejtimes