WASHINGTON - Affirming U.S. commitment to India's emergence as a global power, a senior American diplomat Wednesday lauded the growing Indian activities in Afghanistan to stabilize the war-torn country. "Of course the United States is committed to progress in Afghanistan. But we also highly value India's role in building economic and social opportunities in Afghanistan, and see India's continued involvement there as a key part of that country's future success, not part of its present problems," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns said ahead of Indo-US strategic dialogue. Burns views on India' s role in Afghanistan are in sharp contrast with those of Gen. Stanley McCrystal, the commander of U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan. Increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani countermeasures in Afghanistan or India, wrote Gen. McCrystal in a leaked assessment of the war last September. Burns also went on to set at rest India's concerns that the U.S. looks at India through Pakistan's prism. "Of course, the United States attaches considerable importance to relations with Pakistan, but those relations do not come at the expense of India. We refuse to accept the notion that somehow we can have strong relations with only one country in South Asia at a time," Burns said at the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank. "The simple truth is that India's strength and progress on the world stage is deeply in the strategic interest of the United States," "Never has there been a moment when India and America mattered more to one another. And never has there been a moment when partnership between India and America mattered more to the rest of the globe," he said. Burns also declared Washington's interest in a rapprochement between India and Pakistan, but in reiterating US policy, pledged, "We will not inject ourselves into issues that divide the two governments unless India and Pakistan ask for our help, and we will continue to urge Pakistan to take decisive action against the violent extremists who threaten its own interests as much as they do the security of India and