India on Tuesday welcomed United States President Donald Trump’s new policy on Afghanistan and said that New Delhi shares the concerns and objectives as entailed by the former in his recent address.
“We welcome President Trump’s determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confronting issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists. India shares these concerns and objectives,” India’s External Affairs Ministry spokerperson Raveesh Kumar said, in a press statement.
“We are committed to supporting the Government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in their country. We have been steadfast in extending reconstruction and development assistance to Afghanistan in keeping with our traditional friendship with its people. We will continue these efforts, including in partnership with other countries,” the statement added.
India’s reaction came as Trump unveiled his new Afghanistan policy and that “from now on victory will have a clear definition.”
Trump also sought more help from India in Afghanistan.
Speaking from the Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Va., Trump said, “We will develop a deeper strategic partnership with India, but we want them to help us more in Afghanistan.”
“Another part of South Asia strategy for America to further develop its strategic partnership with India, the world’s largest democracy and key security and economic partner of US. We appreciate India’s important contribution to bring stability in Afghanistan. But, India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan especially in the area of economic consistence and development,” Trump said.
India aided the overthrow of the Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan. Indians are working in various construction projects, as part of India’s rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan.
Trump’s assertion of a bigger Indian role in Afghanistan is a blow for Pakistan, which has been opposing New Delhi’s presence in Kabul.
Pakistan alleges the Indian intelligence agency RAW is working in cover to malign Pakistan and train and support insurgents. This claim has been rejected strongly by India and the United States, which is historically a strong ally of Pakistan.