India will not send troops to Afghanistan

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KABUL (TCA) — India’s defense minister has told the US secretary of defense that New Delhi will continue to assist Afghanistan but it will not get involved militarily, Afghanistan’s TOLOnews agency reported.

Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her US counterpart James Mattis on September 26 in New Delhi and discussed the issue of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan.

According to the Times of India, both parties agreed that such sanctuaries should not be tolerated.

Sitharaman also said she made India’s stance on Afghanistan clear to Mattis, by emphasizing it won’t contribute troops but will continue developmental assistance.

“I borrowed the defense secretary’s own (earlier) words when I explained to him that the very same forces that find safe haven in Pakistan have been the ones who’ve affected New York as well as other places,” said Sitharaman, after meeting with Mattis.

The Times of India also reported that Sitharaman asked Mattis to raise the issue of cross-border terrorism and terror safe havens if he visits Pakistan.

India’s ANI news agency meanwhile reported that Mattis said: “Our two countries recognise the threat that global terrorism poses to people throughout the world.”

Mattis’ trip to India comes two months after US President Donald Trump said that India must play a bigger role in Afghanistan’s path to peace.

Yesterday, Mattis acknowledged that India has already contributed significantly to this process.

Sergey Kwan

TCA