The intensifying activity of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups operating in Afghanistan is a serious threat to the security of the entire region. If this threat is to be defeated and the area pacified, the three countries outside of Afghanistan most affected by the violence - India, Pakistan and the United States - must work together.
In early April, Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan met with top officials in Kabul, Islamabad, and New Delhi to discuss the possibility of cooperation among the 3 states in tackling the militants.
"For the first time since 1947, the national interests of Pakistan, India and the United States are at stake over a single issue. Now that we face a common threat, we must work together ... to achieve a common goal", said Special Representative Holbrooke:
"We know it's going to be difficult, but the national security interests of all three countries are clearly at stake. The administration which we represent is committed to this."
Increasingly, Pakistan and India have been targeted by extremists for violent attacks. India has suffered a number of violent attacks directly attributed to terrorist groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan, among them the bombing of commuter trains in July 2006 and the Mumbai attack of November 26, 2008, which caused the deaths of over 170 people. Growing even bolder, the militants have moved from the mountainous border areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan and increasingly operate from within Pakistan itself.
Speaking of the relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, Special Representative Richard Holbrooke said: "We have had a long and complicated history, our two countries ... we must learn from it and move forward."
Special Representative Holbrooke also said, we can't settle issues like Afghanistan without India's full involvement.