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‘US wants India to play a more active role in Afghanistan’

‘US wants India to play a more active role in Afghanistan’

Washington: The US wants India to play a more active role in finding a political solution in Afghanistan, a senior official has said, as she welcomed India’s financial support in rebuilding the war-torn nation. US President Donald Trump has sought an enhanced role for India in bringing peace in Afghanistan as he ruled out a hasty withdrawal of troops while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy on Monday.

Trump had said that a “critical part” of his South Asia policy was to further develop America’s strategic partnership with India. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said: “It (India) has done a lot in terms of development and helping to promote Afghanistan’s economy.

“So we appreciate that, we’re grateful to that and we look forward to India continuing to play a role in what we believe is an eventual peace process in Afghanistan”. “It has done a lot in terms of providing development funds to Afghanistan so far. We applaud them for that. It has pledged about USD 3 billion since 2001. So we continue to thank it for that and look forward to it hopefully doing more to be a part of the solution,” she told reporters yesterday. India has provided developmental assistance and provided economic assistance, she said. “India is emerging as a very important regional strategic partner. It has played an important role in supporting the Afghan government and, in particular, supporting the economy,” Nauert said.

Trump, in his first prime-time televised address as the commander-in-chief on Monday, also issued the sternest warning yet by an American leader to Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists. “We want Pakistan to be able to do more and we intend to work with those countries for an Afghan-led peace process,” the State Department official added.