Affirming India’s cooperation as the pivot of US administration’s new Afghanistan policy, US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley has called for India’s help in keeping a strong surveillance on Pakistan. Speaking at an event hosted by the U.S India Friendship Council, Ms Haley has underscored US’s deep commitment to an economic and security partnership with India.
“America’s overriding interest in Afghanistan and throughout South Asia are to eliminate terrorist safe havens that threaten us. And to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, we will use all the elements of our national power economic diplomatic and military to pursue these goals… Pakistan has been a partner to the US at times. We value and respect that,” she said.
“But, we cannot tolerate this government or any other government giving safe haven to terrorists who target Americans. This new approach will require understanding and restraint from both Pakistan and India,” she added.
India has, for a long time, been Afghanistan’s trusted partner in the efforts to bring stability to this nation battered by war. India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held wide ranging talks with the top brass of the Afghan leadership during his recent visit to Afghanistan. There has been an upsurge in India-Afghanistan defence and security ties, with India providing four military helicopters to Afghanistan to buttress the nation’s security. In November 2016 Afghanistan received the last Mi24 attack choppers.
While Pakistan is visibly upset with this Washington hard-line, it has drawn some positive words from the Trump administration after it was able to successfully track down and rescue a Canadian American family from the clutches of the Taliban linked Haqqani network after 5 years in captivity.
Emphasizing US’s anti-terrorism agenda, the ambassador added, “Working at the UN really brings home how important it is for countries to share our commitment to democracy. Countries that honour and respect a voice of their people don’t threaten peace and security. But, take a look at the countries that are causing most of the trouble in the world. And you will see countries that don’t respect the will of their own people”.
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