India will not attend US sponsored summit

Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi (R) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee
India will not attend a US-sponsored Summit about the Pak-Afghan border security situation scheduled for later this week in Washington.

The United States had invited India to attend, but New Delhi decided to watch and wait before getting involved in Afghanistan's domestic politics, said the Indo-Asian News Service.

New Delhi is opposed to the perspective of allowing the Taliban insurgents to be part of the future government in Afghanistan, the news agency quoted unnamed official sources as saying.

However, such a perspective could be raised at the summit, according to the report.

The Taliban involvement would be tantamount to giving the Pakistani army carte blanche in exercising its policy, the Times of India said.

Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee recently called the Taliban 'a threat to humanity and civilizations'.

The meeting will see high level delegations from Pakistan and Afghanistan led by the two country's foreign ministers.

US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke is expected to attend the conference.

The summit is part of a more comprehensive strategic review of President Barack Obama's policy for the troubled region.

The developments come after Obama's special envoy Richard Holbrooke visited Islamabad, Kabul and New Delhi this month to assess the security situation in the region.

The tribal regions along the shared border between Pakistan and Afghanistan have become a safe haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda militants after a US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

India and Afghanistan have strong relationships but both have difficult ties with Pakistan.