originally published on Aug 22, 2017,  ANI News


Afghan envoy urges Pakistan to join fight against terrorism sincerely

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 19:01 IST      
New Delhi [India], Aug 22 (ANI): Afghanistan's Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali has hailed United States President Donald Trump's new policy for Afghanistan and urged Pakistan to join the fight against terrorism sincerely to sustain peace in the region.

"President Trump's remarks were very clear. It has still open the window for cooperation and partnership, but clearly the lack of that...he also hinted at a strong action. I think this is an opportunity for everyone, including Pakistan to adhere to the principles of state government, to fight terrorism sincerely, for the sake of everyone in the region," Ambassador Abdali told ANI.

"If there is genuine fight against terrorism for peace and stability, there is still an opportunity for partnership, but if that's not there, the words were clear and we hope that words are also transferred into action, and if there is lack of sincerity in the fight against terrorism, action will be as it was spoken in his (Donald Trump) remarks," he added.

Describing Trump's policy as a very comprehensive strategy, the envoy said it focused more on terrorism and it is very multifaceted.

"Finally, it's a strategy that has a clarity. Clarity, in a sense, that the objectives are clear-that Afghanistan, currently, is facing the problem of terrorism, and clearly saying that the problem of terrorism has roots outside of Afghanistan, so, the condition based approach is something which is very significant," he said.

"We fully support it, specially the clarity of the strategy that we see as compared to previous strategies of the US government. There is no longer patience to the use of terrorism and to the existent of safe sanctuaries which is something Afghanistan has always sought," he added.

Ambassador Abdali said he was glad that the U.S. government, after taking much time, has reviewed its strategy for Afghanistan.

He added that finally its the strategy that has clarity and its objectives are also clear.

Emphasising that India has been a genuine partner, the envoy said New Delhi has been standing alongside Afghanistan, especially after fall of Taliban.

"India's assistance is in multifaceted ways. You can see India's assistance in development of peace , security, economic, culture and education in many fields, there is always room for more ....and we hope India will do more," he said.

Speaking about Trump asking India's help in Afghanistan, the envoy said, "I am glad, I wish this had been the case long time back, that India to be partnered with on peace and stability in Afghanistan and the wider region. I am glad right now, the U.S. in this current strategy has focussed more and we look forward to a strong India-U.S. partnership with Afghanistan."

Welcoming the new strategy of the United States for Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani said the decision unveils an enduring commitment by Washington as a key partner of the Kabul government.

Ghani thanked Trump and the people of America for their support and efforts for Afghanistan to make the country self sufficient to combat the threat of terrorism.

"I am grateful to President Trump and the American people for this affirmation of support for our efforts to achieve self-reliance and for our joint struggle to rid the region from the threat of terrorism," Tolo News quoted Ghani, as saying.

"The new strategy will increase the capacity in the Resolute Support mission. It will particularly emphasis on enhancing the Afghan air power, doubling the size of the Afghan Special Force and deepening NATO's ability to train, advice and assist Afghan security forces," he added.

He further said the new strategy would allow both the US and Afghanistan to work together in achieving mutual goals of peace and prosperity. The new strategy will also provide a clear pathway for the regional countries to end support for non-state actors.

India has also welcomed Donald Trump's new policy on Afghanistan and said that New Delhi shares the concerns and objectives as entailed by the former in his recent address.

"We welcome President Trump's determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confronting issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists. India shares these concerns and objectives," India's External Affairs Ministry spokerperson Raveesh Kumar said, in a press statement.

"We are committed to supporting the Government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in their country. We have been steadfast in extending reconstruction and development assistance to Afghanistan in keeping with our traditional friendship with its people. We will continue these efforts, including in partnership with other countries," the statement added.

India's reaction came as Trump unveiled his new Afghanistan policy and that "from now on victory will have a clear definition."

Trump also 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."

"Another part of South Asia strategy for America to further develop its strategic partnership with India, the world's largest democracy and key security and economic partner of US. We appreciate India's important contribution to bring stability in Afghanistan. But, India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan especially in the area of economic consistence and development," Trump said.

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.

Trump's assertion 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 a strong ally of Pakistan(ANI)

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