WASHINGTON - The United States has called for closer counter-terrorism cooperation between South Asian countries, and emphasised that India-Pakistan ties were critical to achieving peace and stability in region.

"It’s (Indo-Pak relationship) absolutely critical to achieving peace and stability in South Asia," State Department Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at the daily news briefing on Tuesday, while responding to a series of questions by an Indian journalist that were pointed against Pakistan. Answering a question, Toner said the relationship between India and US were "strong and growing", he said, "As President Obama said, India has the potential to be one of the great global powers in the 21st century. So, we want to see our cooperation deepen." "In general, we want to see better, stronger, closer counter-terrorism cooperation, not only between the US and India, but of all the countries in the region, including Pakistan. We all need to be on our guard. We all need to be vigilant. We all need to cooperate and share information and intelligence where we can do that, in order to prevent future attacks," Toner added.

Responding to another question, the spokesman said that US wants that the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack to be brought to justice.