US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged India on Wednesday to be more assertive in Asia, saying the country should play more of a leadership role. "India's leadership has the potential to positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific... and we encourage you not just to look east, but continue to engage and act east as well," she said in Chennai. Clinton said India should play a role as a US ally in regional forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a planned East Asia Summit later this year. New Delhi could also help promote trade links in violence-wracked South Asia, which would bring prosperity and peace to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan , Clinton said.