'Concerned' India wants US to stay in Afghanistan till peace, stability returns

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New Delhi, Dec.6 (ANI): Expressing concern over President Obama's plan to start pulling American troops out of Afghanistan by mid-2011, top government sources here have said that America must not vacate war-ravaged Afghanistan until the establishment of peace and stability there.

Sources said, ever since President Obama unleashed his revamped Afghan strategy, according to which the US would be sending an additional 30,000 troops, Indian authorities are reportedly in touch with the White House, and are convinced that Washington is not adopting any 'exit strategy'.

New Delhi believes that the situation in Afghanistan is so grave that the planned US surge would not be able to resolve the quagmire in the next 18 months.

While the United States has stressed that it shares its goal of dismantling Pakistan and Afghanistan-based terror safe havens with India, sources clarified that New Delhi has no intention of sending troops to Afghanistan.

U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer had said: "Our core goal in Afghanistan and Pakistan-to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat terrorist networks-is an aspiration we share with India."

"We must unite in the commitment of our civilian resources, and provide the tools for economic development and humanitarian aid to eliminate the extremist violence that is the enemy of peace, faith,democracy, tolerance, fundamental freedoms and human rights," said Roemer, hours after President Obama's announcement of the new Afghan policy.

Obama had on Tuesday, said he was ordering 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan by next summer to counter a resurgent Taliban and had plans to begin a troop withdrawal in 18 months. The goal, Obama said, was to speed up the battle against Taliban insurgents, secure key population centres and train Afghan security forces so they can take over and clear the way for a U.S. exit.

Violence has escalated as tens of thousands of additional foreign troops, mainly Americans, have been deployed in response to an escalating Taliban insurgency which has claimed record numbers of military and civilian lives so far in 2009. (ANI)

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