Washington: United States President Donald Trump has 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.”
He further added that “India makes billions of dollars with the United States in trade; we want them to help us more in Afghanistan”.
It is notable that India has been actively helping Afghanistan in the reconstruction of the terror-torn country.
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.
US President’s desire for an increased role of India in Afghanistan is a blow for Pakistan as it is opposed to Indian presence in Kabul.
In the aftermath of the 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul, the Afghan Foreign Ministry quoted India as a “brother country” and the relationship between the two as one which “no enemy can hamper”. Relations between Afghanistan and India received a major boost in 2011 with the signing of a strategic partnership agreement, Afghanistan’s first since the Soviet invasion of 1979.
According to a 2010 Gallup survey, Afghan adults are more likely to approve of India’s leadership than Chinese or U.S. leadership.
Trump’s desire 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 being a strong ally of Pakistan.