NEW YORK - An influential US newspaper on Tuesday called on Indias post-election Congress govt to work towards settling the decades-old Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. 'Ignoring Kashmir is no longer an option, The New York Times said in an editorial, entitled: Indias Challenges. The paper also urged New Delhi to initiate arms control talks with Pakistan and China as also declare its intention to stop producing nuclear weapons fuel. 'That would provide leverage for Washington and others to exhort Pakistan to do the same. It said, 'It is past time for India - stronger both economically and in international stature - to find a way to resolve tensions with Pakistan over Kashmir. If that festering sore cannot be addressed directly, then - as Stephen P. Cohen, a South Asia expert at the Brookings Institution, suggests - broader regional talks on environmental and water issues might be an interim way to find common ground. The paper further said thatIndia has played a constructive role in helping rebuild Afghanistan, but it must take steps to allay Islamabads concerns that this is a plan to encircle Pakistan. It should foster regional trade with Pakistan and Afghanistan. More broadly, India must help to revive world trade talks by opening its markets. It could use its considerable trade clout with Iran, Sudan and Myanmar to curb Tehrans nuclear programme, end the genocide in Darfur and press Myanmars junta to expand human rights. 'India is the dominant power in South Asia, but it has been hesitant to assume its responsibilities. The Congress Party has to do better - starting with Pakistan, which the Times described as 'arguably the most dangerous country on earth. The editorial said, 'A report in The Times on Monday reminds us just how dangerous: The US believes Islamabad is rapidly expanding a nuclear arsenal thought to already contain 80 to 100 weapons. 'We have consistently supported appropriate military aid and increased economic aid to help Pakistan fight the Taliban and al Qaeda, strengthen democratic institutions and improve the life of its people. Squandering precious resources on nuclear bombs is disgraceful when Pakistan is troubled by economic crisis and facing an insurgency that threatens its very existence. 'Trying to keep up to 100 bombs from extremists is hard enough; expanding the nuclear stockpile makes the challenge worse. Officials in Washington are legitimately asking whether billions of dollars in proposed new assistance might be diverted to Pakistans nuclear programme. They should demand assurances it will not be done by Pakistan, the paper added. 'India is essential to what Pakistan will do.