India ‘no’ to deploy troops in Afghanistan

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Sep 2017 09:05:45



US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is the first high ranking official of Trump administration to visit India

INDIA on Tuesday ruled out troops deployment in war-torn Afghanistan even as it pledged with the US to eradicate the “scourge” of terrorism for peace and stability.
“There shall not be boots from India on the ground (in Afghanistan),” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a joint media conference with visiting US Defence Secretary James Mattis after talks with him.

The Minister was replying to a question about India’s contribution in Afghanistan and whether it would deploy its troops there.
Mattis is the first high ranking official of the Trump administration to visit India amidst expectation from the US that India could change its stand on a possible military presence in Afghanistan.

US President Donald Trump while unveiling his new policy on Afghanistan last month asked India to help more with the troubled country, battling decades of Islamist insurgency.

Sitharaman said India’s contribution to Afghanistan has been there for a very long time in development activities like building dams, schools, hospitals, roads and any institution which the country may require.
“We are also at the moment training their officials in good governance... India’s contribution has been there and we shall expand if necessary,” she said.

She also said India welcomed Trump’s new Afghanistan strategy and added she had “useful discussions” with Mattis on “how we can strengthen our co-operation bilaterally as well as with the Government of Afghanistan in pursuit of our common objective of a peaceful, democratic, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.” Mattis lauded India’s efforts in Afghanistan. “In particular, we applaud India’s invaluable contributions to Afghanistan and welcome further efforts to promote Afghanistan’s democracy, stability and security. We seek to expand our co-operation in building partnership across the region.”

Mattis said the two countries recognised the threat to global peace from terror and both agreed that there should be “no tolerance to safe havens for terrorists.” “As global leaders India and the Mattis meets PM, discusses enhanced Indo-US cooperation: ENHANCED cooperation between India and the US, regionally and globally, in pursuing shared priorities for peace, stability and combating terrorism were discussed when visiting Secretary of Defence James Mattis met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Monday. During the meeting, Modi appreciated the close engagement between India and the US on regional and global issues of mutual concern, according to a PMO statement.