India fears for Afghanistan after NATO pullout

India called for greater coordination with the United States on Afghanistan, voicing fear that Islamic radicals would gain strength once Western forces pull out.

NATO leaders in a May 21 summit in Chicago committed to pulling combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 as Western nations grow tired of more than a decade of war and pessimistic on the chances of further progress.

India is one of the most vocal supporters of continued engagement and has given Afghanistan more than $2 billion since the US-led invasion in 2001 overthrew the Taliban regime, which sheltered virulently anti-Indian militants.

Ahead of high-level annual talks between India and the United States on June 13, Nirupama Rao, New Delhi's ambassador to Washington, said the two nations have been holding talks on building "a stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan."

"These consultations must be strengthened," Rao said at the Atlantic Council, a think tank.

"We understand that after 10 long years of war there is a manifest and genuine desire to seek an end to conflict. But equally, we must ensure that the enormous sacrifices and efforts of the past decade have not been in vain," she said.

"Given the history of the last few decades in Afghanistan and the tide of extremism and radicalism that has swept across that country to the great detriment of its men, women and children, one cannot but help be concerned about what the future holds for that country" after the NATO pullout, she said.

India's involvement in Afghanistan has enraged neighboring Pakistan, which helped create the Taliban regime and accuses its historic rival of seeking to encircle it.

The United States partnered with Pakistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks. But relations have plummeted, with US concerns about Pakistan's orientation soaring after US forces found and killed Osama bin Laden near the country's main military academy last year.

The United States has welcomed India's contributions in Afghanistan but some US policymakers believe that Pakistani intelligence has maintained links to Islamic extremists due to a fixation on New Delhi's influence.

Yashwant Sinha, a lawmaker from India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, was blunter about fears on Afghanistan during a separate appearance in Washington at the Brookings Institution.

"I have great fears that Pakistan, for its own geopolitical reasons, might want to encourage Taliban to again take over Afghanistan," said Sinha, who served as foreign and finance minister when his right-leaning party was in power from 1998 to 2004.

Sinha said Afghanistan lacked a sufficient military -- or an anti-Taliban force, such as the Northern Alliance which enjoyed Indian, Iranian and Russian support before the war -- to withstand an assault.

"I don't see any local resistance building up immediately if the Taliban were to attempt to overrun Afghanistan," Sinha said.

"NATO has to stay the course in Afghanistan until we are absolutely confident that the Afghan army and the armed forces of Afghanistan are in a position to meet the Taliban threat," he said.

But opinion polls show that a majority of Americans want to end their country's longest war, with many US policymakers concluding that it is unrealistic to eliminate the Taliban through force.

US President Barack Obama and other Western leaders have vowed to support Afghanistan through military training and other assistance after the pullout of combat troops.

Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna will travel to Washington for the June 13 annual dialogue, which is part of efforts by the world's two largest democracies to build closer relations.

India and the United States recently had a rift as Washington urged the import-dependent emerging economy to cut oil imports from Iran as a way to pressure Tehran over its contested nuclear program.

Despite initial unease, India has reduced Iranian imports. The United States is expected to announce in the coming weeks that it will exempt New Delhi from sanctions under a new law that punishes countries that do business with Iran.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather
    Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather

    Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao is confident he can beat American arch-rival Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday with the power of God, after abandoning a life he said was packed with sin condemning him to hell. Pacquiao is in top form both in mind and spirit after he traded his boozing, gambling and womanising ways for a devout life of prayer, his spiritual adviser, Jeric Soriano, told AFP in a recent Manila interview. Except the world got to him," Soriano said of Pacquiao's …

  • Profiles of foreigners due to be executed in Indonesia
    Profiles of foreigners due to be executed in Indonesia

    Eight foreign drug convicts are set to be executed in Indonesia after losing all appeals for clemency. Here are brief profiles of the inmates, who include two from Australia, one each from Brazil and the Philippines, and four from Africa. Myuran Sukumaran A ringleader of the Bali Nine drugs smuggling syndicate, Sukumaran was born in London in 1981 and moved with his Sri Lankan family to Australia when he was a child. Enticed by the prospect of easy money, in 2005 he helped to organise a …

  • Indonesia says will not delay execution of Filipina convict
    Indonesia says will not delay execution of Filipina convict

    JAKARTA (Reuters) - The execution of a Filipina drug convict by an Indonesian firing squad will not be delayed despite last-minute appeals by the Philippine government, the attorney general said on Tuesday. Indonesian President Joko Widodo earlier met with a migrant workers' group to discuss the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who is one of nine people set to be executed within hours. (Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco in MANLIA and Gayatri Suroyo in JAKARTA; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) …

  • Nine face midnight firing squad in Indonesia, hopes for reprieve gone
    Nine face midnight firing squad in Indonesia, hopes for reprieve gone

    By Kanupriya Kapoor CILACAP, Indonesia (Reuters) - Nine drug traffickers held emotional farewell meetings with their families at an Indonesian prison on Tuesday, after Jakarta rejected last-ditch pleas from around the world for clemency and ordered their mass execution to proceed within hours. "I won't see him again," said Raji Sukumaran, the mother of an Australian who will go before a firing squad along with a fellow countryman and convicts from Nigeria, Brazil, the Philippines and …

  • Aquino appeals to Indonesia one more time to keep Filipina alive
    Aquino appeals to Indonesia one more time to keep Filipina alive

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he made one last appeal to the Indonesian government to spare a Filipina among nine prisoners set to be executed for drug trafficking on Tuesday as she could be a vital witness in prosecuting drug syndicates. It was Aquino's third personal appeal, after the Indonesian attorney general rejected the Philippines' request on Monday for a second judicial review of the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who her lawyers say merely served as an unknowing mule to drug …

  • Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000
    Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000

    Are you hunting for an affordable motorcycle which you can use for personal use or a family service vehicle? Carmudi PH presents to you some of the cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines today. These budget friendly motorbikes will surely not hurt your pockets, and you may even buy them on the spot instead of monthly […] The post Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000 appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Indonesia gears up for executions as families wail in grief
    Indonesia gears up for executions as families wail in grief

    Indonesia made final preparations Tuesday to execute eight foreigners by firing squad, as family members wailed in grief during last visits to their loved ones and ambulances carrying white coffins arrived at the drug convicts' prison. Relatives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the Australian ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin trafficking group, arrived at Nusakambangan prison calling for mercy for their loved ones, with Sukumaran's sister collapsing in grief. They are among …

  • Labor Day heat index may heat feverish levels

    Temperatures could soar on Labor Day this Friday, with the "init factor" reaching the 40°C level in some areas of the country. Labor Day is a holiday in the Philippines, though many Filipinos are expected to go out to the streets to call for better working conditions. The so-called "init factor" or "heat index" gives the apparent temperature, taking into account the actual air temperature as well as other factors such as humidity. State weather agency PAGASA's Tuesday heat index indicated …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options