KABUL - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday asked Pakistan to pressure the Taliban to join Afghanistan's peace process.
She also urged Pakistan not to allow militants to use its territory to stage attacks against Afghanistan and India.
Clinton met with her Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, and spoke about Pakistan Thursday during a visit to the Indian port city of Chennai.
Regarding the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, she remarked, according to a transcript of the speech, "The United States is committed to Afghanistan and to the region… Drawing down our troops is not the same leaving or disengaging." Clinton urged Pakistan to help stabilize Afghanistan by pressuring the Taliban to join the Afghan peace process.
She also said that Pakistan should not allow al Qaeda "the space to regroup and plan new violence" on its territory, according to the transcript.
She said that the US will continue to help the Afghan people rebuild their country after three decades war, and that America will continue targeting militants and supporting the Afghan army and police after 2014, when foreign troops are scheduled to withdraw.
The US Secretary of State urged the Taliban to cut relations with al Qaeda, and said that anyone who joins the peace process must accept the Afghan constitution.
"Any potential for peace will be subverted if women and ethnic minorities are marginalized or silenced," she said, according to the transcript.
She added, "Reconciliation, achieving it, and maintaining it, will depend on the participation of all of Afghanistan's neighbors, including both Pakistan and India."