WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Colin Powell will travel to India, Pakistan (search) and Afghanistan starting March 14 to discuss the war on terror and other issues.
In India, Powell will confer with officials about expanding relations between the two countries. In January, they agreed to enhance cooperation on nonmilitary nuclear activities and high-technology trade.
The visit to Pakistan will include discussion of Pakistan's role in hunting down Pakistan-based remnants of Al Qaeda (search) and the Taliban, the stern Muslim militia that formerly ruled Afghanistan.
Powell also will exchange views with Pakistani officials on guarding against nuclear proliferation after disclosure that a Pakistani-organized network supplied nuclear technology to North Korea (search), Iran and Libya.
A senior administration official said Powell will tell the Pakistanis to avoid a repeat of such activities. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Pakistan already has acted strongly to prevent a recurrence.
The trip will come at a time when hopes are running high for improved relations between neighbors India and Pakistan, who have fought four wars in their 55 years of independence.
In Afghanistan (search), Powell's talks are to focus on continuing security and economic problems and the status of the country's democratic development.