Modi cautions US on troops pull out from Afghanistan, cites mistakes made in Iraq

Modi CFRBeware of the mistakes made in Iraq was the essence of the message delivered by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States.

Speaking at the forum of the Council of Foreign Relations at New York on September 29 before US’ President Barack Obama hosting him in Washington, Modi advised the US leadership that withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan should be done in a ‘slow and calibrated’ manner or they will risk by repeating the post-withdrawal turmoil in Iraq.

“Only a strong Afghan government and with an adept security forces will allow the country to stand up against the Taliban. A stable Afghanistan will ‘march’ towards democracy and development,” said Modi in his candid address at the event.

Recalling how New Delhi and Washington have important stakes to ensure that Afghanistan does not slip back into a period of war and instability, he reiterated that terrorism stemming from the region is a problem for both the US and India.
Further he said that terrorism is a problem that needs to be tackled globally. He downplayed the notions on ‘good terrorism’ and ‘bad terrorism’ by saying there should be no distinctions between these two.

Modi also spoke about the nature of partnership between India and the US. He also said that similar to all relationships between partners, this relationship too was not ‘perfect’. This aspect he noted by saying, “There is no need to be comfortable on all aspects (of a relationship…).’’

As two of the world’s largest democracies, the Prime Minister observed that they have the responsibility to think beyond narrow considerations and focus instead on global interests.

“As the largest democracies, India and the US have to think what they can do to benefit the world,” said Modi.

He also explained India and China were working to enhancing their bilateral ties on various issues and solving their boundary dispute.

Alluding to his belief in the 21st century as ‘Asia’s Century’ he said his government was committed to changing India, the clean Ganga campaign,improving India’s investment environment, and upgrading the Indian railway network to attract huge global investments.

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