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US Afghan troop drawdown worries India

US Afghan troop drawdown worries India

Jun 30, 2011 - 18:05

NEW DELHI (PANinfo-icon) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that the decision of USA to pull out from Afghanistaninfo-icon could hurt India and create uncertainty in the war-ravaged nation. 

Speaking to a select group of Indian editors on Wednesday, Manmohan Singh said: "It [American pullout by 2014] does hurt us. No one knows what is going to happen in Afghanistan."
"Yesterday, I was talking to the New Zealand Prime Minister, and he said that the war in Afghanistan does not enjoy large-scale public support. That’s the reality," he said. 
"If we hold elections every four years, politicians have to be re-elected before they can become statesmen," he said in reference to Afghanistan. 
US President Barack Obama said starting July this year, USA will remove 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and more (33,000) by next summer and by 2014 the process of pullout will be complete. 
To the question of good and bad Talibaninfo-icon in Afghanistan, Manmohan Singh said : "I told the Afghan Parliament that the reconciliation should be Afghan-led. I think Karzai and other politicians can work on that."
"You cannot carry the good-bad Taliban distinction much too far. But the Haqqani group –they are a more determined group – perhaps not in league with the Pakistani establishment – I don’t know – but we are worried about them," he said.  
On a question of any possibility of Indian companies getting access to natural resources in Afghanistan, Singh said Pakistaninfo-icon is not ready for transit through Pakistan.
"Afghan trucks can travel up to Wagah. Afghanistan is quite keen. But we also have to reckon with Pakistan’s capacity to protect our enterprises. Situation on the ground is not that good," he said. 
India has earlier said that it want to see an independent Afghanistan handling its own security.
Manmohan Singh had said Afghanistan cannot have a military solution, and the international community should find a lasting solution for Afghanistan.
After hunting down and eliminating Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, approaching the troop's pullout by America and NATOinfo-icon from Afghanistan worries India, and the fear is that Pakistan-nourished Taliban forces might gain ground there.
 India has expanded its diplomatic and friendly influence in the region by providing around $1.3 billion on developmental projects in Afghanistan since the fall of Taliban in 2001.
Last month’s visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Afghanistan was a major boost to the ties between the two nations.


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