WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (APP): The United States should adjust its policy to accomodate Pakistans interests for success in Afghanistan and in this respect President Obama must tell New Delhi clearly that it should restrain Indian influence on the Afghan soil, a former State Department adviser and Middle Eastern policy expert emphasized Monday.It is in Indias self-interest to contain extremist pressures in Afghanistan and Pakistan - and one paradoxically clever way to do that is to lower Indias profile in Afghanistan. During his visit, Obama should drive home the point that such self-restraint would best serve our common interest in stabilizing the region, David Pollock, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, argued in The Washington Post. Pollock, who served at the State Department under Clinton and Bush administrations, said President Barack Obamas trip to India offers a crucial, and counterintuitive, opportunity missing in all the talk about Afghanistan: how to accommodate Pakistans interests in that country. Unless the United States finds a way to address Pakistans interests, getting full Pakistani cooperation in rooting out Afghan militant groups will be difficult, he felt in the opinion piece Our Indian Problem in Afghanistan. While serious analysts agree that such a shift is necessary for any U.S. success in Afghanistan, many fail to follow this logic to its conclusion: that we must persuade Pakistan it can crack down on Afghan extremists without jeopardizing its cross-border interests,. What are those interests? First and foremost, to minimize the presence and influence in Afghanistan of Pakistans own archrival, India. Yet somehow this point is absent from most American debates about these issues, probably because of our narrow focus on terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. In fact, the United States has stoked Pakistani paranoia by encouraging India to become the regions major economic player in Afghanistan, to train Afghan officials, and exercise other influence on the Afghan government and people, Pollock wrote. To Pakistani perceptions, he pointed out, this raises the threat of foreign influence in Afghanistan, and increases the possibility of Pakistani reliance on the Afghan groups to both counter Indian influence and protect Pakistani interests in Afghanistan. Pakistans other major interest is to promote a friendly regime in Kabul, Pollock wrote.Recently, he noted, the Afghan and Pakistan governments have moved to resolve some of their differences. Afghan President Hamid Karzai abruptly removed the chief of his National Security Directorate,Amrullah Saleh, who was widely viewed as anti-corruption but also anti- Pakistan.In return, Islamabad negotiated an Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement allowing Afghan traffic all the way to India. There is much the United States should do to capitalize on this momentum. Most urgent is to start working closely with Pakistan on our Afghan reconciliation and reintegration policies, instead of ignoring Pakistans expressions of interest in these plans. We should also tell Islamabad that we are encouraging Kabul to send security personnel for Pakistani (rather than Indian) training - and then do so. We should encourage Kabul to pursue reasonable confidence-building measures, such as letting Pakistan know about pending Afghan government appointments in the border provinces. We should advise Pakistan that the United States recognizes the Durand Line and will work with the Afghan government to lay this ancient issue to rest. All these small steps, the analyst said, will help convince Pakistan that it can work more confidently with us and with the Afghan government. While we cannot buy or bully Pakistanis into abandoning their interests in Afghanistan, we can show them new ways to secure those interests. Properly understood, this is no longer a zero-sum great game in the region. Adjusting our policies to accommodate Pakistani interests is essential to U.S. national interests in Afghanistan. And contrary to conventional wisdom, it is consistent with the long-term interests of our friends in the Afghan and Indian governments in countering the violent extremists who threaten us all.