India, Pakistan amongst others with stake in secure way forward for Afghanistan: Biden


Washington, April 15

US President Joe Biden has said that India, Pakistan, Russia, China and Turkey have a significant stake in the stable future of Afghanistan and these regional stakeholders should do more to bring peace in this war-torn country, from where he will withdraw all American troops by September 11.

“We will ask other countries in the region to do more to support Afghanistan, especially Pakistan, as well as Russia, China, India and Turkey. They all have a significant stake in the stable future of Afghanistan,” Biden said in a nationally televised speech from the White House on Wednesday.

In less than 100 days after taking over as the president of the US on January 20, Biden announced to begin to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by September 11.

The US currently has a little over 2,500 troops, which is far less than the 100,000-plus during the Barack Obama administration.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that there is no military solution to the current situation in Afghanistan, rather a diplomatic solution is required.

“Even as we are withdrawing our troops, we will continue to support diplomatic and humanitarian work. We will ask other countries to step up, whether that’s Pakistan, Russia, China, India, Turkey – countries in the region that certainly have a stake in stability. We will continue to provide significant humanitarian resources,” Psaki said in response to a question.

“We will continue to be engaged. This is the president’s assessment about whether having troops on the ground, a military presence in the same way – in a version of the same way it has been over the last two decades — is in our national interest. And he has made the decision it is not,” she said.

Biden said the war in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking. “We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. (Osama) Bin Laden is dead, and al Qaeda is degraded in Iraq, in Afghanistan. And it’s time to end the forever war,” he asserted.

The Biden administration on Wednesday did not give details of its expectations from India on the latter’s role in Afghanistan after the complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

In the past, successive US administrations have praised India’s role in peace and development in Afghanistan.

“India has been the largest regional contributor to Afghan reconstruction, but New Delhi has not shown an inclination to pursue a deeper defence relationship with Kabul,” said a recent report on Afghanistan by the independent Congressional Research Service. PTI



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