WASHINGTON (AFP) A senior US official on Thursday offered strong support for Indias involvement in Afghanistan and voiced hope that the two countries can work together with Pakistan. Pakistan is deeply suspicious of its historic rival Indias role in Afghanistan, where New Delhi has provided 1.2 billion dollars in aid since a US-led campaign ousted the Taliban regime in 2001. Michele Flournoy, the US undersecretary of defense for policy, said that India was playing a critical and positive role in Afghanistan. We highly value Indias role and, frankly, the sacrifices that India has made in support of this mission in building economic and social opportunities in Afghanistan, she told the Asia Society. We see Indias continued involvement in Afghanistans development as a key part of that countrys future success, she said. Flournoy said that the United States welcomed efforts for Pakistan to ease tensions both with India and Afghanistan. They all have a stake in the stability of the region and we have strategic partnerships with all three countries, she said. One of the things we continue to try to press is our belief that that common stake in regional security can actually bring them to a place of cooperation that they have not experienced before. But its not going to be easy. Pakistan was the main supporter of the Taliban until the September 11, 2001 attacks, after which it transformed into the frontline US partner in its campaign against extremism. But some US analysts say that Pakistan, while fighting homegrown Taliban militants, has maintained contacts with the Afghan Taliban in hopes of remaining a pivotal player in its northern neighbour. US officials have been trying to assess whether Pakistan is moving closer to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has been sour on Islamabad throughout his career but is said to be questioning Western commitments to his government.