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US wants India to enhance uplift aid to Afghanistan

US wants India to enhance uplift aid to Afghanistan

Aug 27, 2017 - 12:57

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States is looking for an enhanced economic and developmental role for India and not on security-related issues, a senior administration official has said.

America's security aid to Pakistan would be conditioned on the steps that it wanted them to take against terrorist groups like the Taliban, the official told Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview.

“Our security aid (to Pakistan) will be conditioned on the steps that we expect them to take, in particular, againstthe Taliban-Haqqani network,” the source said.

According to the official, there is a lot of frustration in the US over continued terrorist safe havens in Pakistan. “But we believe there is hope for greater cooperation from Pakistan on these issues.

"It's Pakistan's choice. Pakistan has much to benefit from by cooperating with the US and cracking down on some of these groups,” the official noted.

“There have been longstanding relationships between Pakistani intelligence officials and these terrorist groups. So, we don't expect things to change overnight. We expect incremental changes over time,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

“We will be able to see when these changes start to happen. They (might) not become immediately apparent to the public, but we're confident that when Pakistan takes the steps, we'll know it and we'll be able to assess."

The official explained India’s role in Afghanistan would primarily focus on economic and development issues, which it had been successfully doing for the past several years.

“President Trump was very appreciative of the role that India is playing in Afghanistan and will look forward to continuing close consultations with India on our Afghanistan strategy,” he added.

“We just look forward to India continuing to play the kind of positive role it's been playing over the last several years, and maybe even enhancing that in terms of supporting the peace process in the country, and being involved in those regional initiatives.”

He said deliberations on India’s role in Afghanistan had focused on what could be done in terms of the economic development issues and support for democratic development.

“But not focusing on security issues. Nobody's talking about asking India to put troops on the ground in Afghanistan. No, that has not been part of the discussions,” the official concluded.