NEW YORK In a secret directive in December, President Barack Obama expressed the view that without dTtente between India and Pakistan, the U.S. efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan would suffer, according to a major American newspaper. He, therefore, called for intensifying American diplomacy aimed at easing tensions between the two South Asian neighbours, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with the directives contents. It concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on U.S. goals in the region, according to people familiar with its contents. The US has invested heavily in its own relations with Pakistan in recent months, agreeing to a $7.5 billion aid package and sending top military and diplomatic officials to Islamabad on repeated visits, the Journal noted. The public embrace, which reached a high point last month in high-profile talks in Washington, reflects the Obama administrations belief that Pakistan must be convinced to change its strategic calculus and take a more assertive stance against militants based in its western tribal regions over the course of the next year in order to turn the tide in Afghanistan. A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbour, according to the report. The Pentagon, in particular, has sought more pressure on New Delhi, it said, citing U.S. and Indian officials. Current and former U.S. officials said the discussion in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as Pakistan ratchets up requests that the U.S. intercede in a series of continuing disputes. Pakistan has long regarded Afghanistan as providing strategic depth-essentially, a buffer zone-in a potential conflict with India, the Journal pointed out. Some U.S. officials believe Islamabad will remain reluctant to wholeheartedly fight the Islamic militants based on its Afghan border unless the sense of threat from India is reduced. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already taken the political risk of pursuing peace talks with Pakistan, but faces significant domestic opposition to any additional outreach without Pakistani moves to further clamp down on Islamic militants who have targeted India, the report said. U.S. and Indian officials say the Obama administration has so far made few concrete demands of New Delhi. According to U.S. officials, the only specific request has been to discourage India from getting more involved in training the Afghan military, to ease Pakistani concerns about getting squeezed by India on two borders. This is an administration thats deeply divided about the wisdom of leaning on India to solve U.S. problems with Pakistan, said Ashley Tellis, an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has discussed the issue with senior officials in the U.S. and India. There are still important constituencies within the administration that have not given up hope that India represents the answer. India has long resisted outside involvement in its differences with Pakistan, particularly over the disputed region of Kashmir. But, according to a U.S. government official, a 56-page dossier presented by the Pakistani government to the Obama administration ahead of high-level talks in Washington last month contained suggestions the U.S. intercede to resolve Indo-Pakistan disputes. The official said the document points out that India has never accepted Pakistans sovereignty as an independent state, and accuses India of diverting water from the Indus River and fomenting separatism in Balochistan. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signaled that Washington isnt interested in mediating on water issues, which are covered by a bilateral treaty. The White House declined to comment on Mr. Obamas directive or on the debate within the administration over India policy. The directive to top foreign policy and national-security officials was summarized in a memo written by National Security Adviser James Jones at the end of the White Houses three-month review of Afghan war policy in December. An Indian government official said the U.S.s increasing attention to Pakistani concerns hasnt hurt bilateral relations overall. Our relationship is mature-of course we have disagreements, but were trying not to have knee-jerk reactions, the Indian official said. Citing U.S. and Indian officials, the Journal said the Pentagon has emerged in internal Obama administration debates as an active lobbyist for more pressure on India, with some officials already informally pressing Indian officials to take Pakistans concerns more seriously. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the U.S. governments prime interlocutor with Pakistani Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, has been among the more vocal advocates of a greater Indian role, according to a U.S. military official, encouraging New Delhi to be more transparent about its activities along the countries shared border and to cooperate more with Pakistan. In interviews with the Journal, U.S. military officials were circumspect about what specific moves they would like to see from New Delhi. But according to people who have discussed India policy with Pentagon officials, the ideas discussed in internal debates include reducing the number of Indian troops in Kashmir or pulling back forces along the border. The State Department has resisted such moves to pressure India, athe newspaper said, citing current and former U.S. officials, insisting they could backfire. Separately, Pakistan has been more forcefully raising concerns about Indian activities in Afghanistan with the U.S. Senior Pakistani officials say India is using its Afghan aid missions as a cover to support separatists in Balochistan and the Pakistani Taliban, and say they have presented evidence of that to U.S. officials. Indian officials deny the accusations. A Pakistani security official said his government also has pressed the U.S. about Indias ties to the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate, and argued that Indian consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar are outposts for Indias spy agency. Something has to be done to stop Afghanistan from being a jumping-off point for Indian intelligence, said the security official. Meanwhile, Indian officials told the newspaper they have received no requests from the U.S. to scale back Indias rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan, and dont plan to change those initiatives.