India should never send troops to Afghanistan: Defence expert
With US President Donald Trump saying that India should do more to help them in Afghanistan, Defence Expert PK Sehgal has cautioned that India must never send ground troops to join NATO forces in the war-torn country as it would be detrimental to nation's interests.
Trump had earlier said that India makes billions of dollars with the United States in trade and urged New Delhi to help them more in Afghanistan. Although the US President did not clearly mention in what way India should increase its help to Afghanistan, it is being speculated that the US wants India to send its troops to fight the Taliban.
"India is absolutely and totally unlikely to place any ground troops. Possibly America wants us to do a lot more...However, India needs to be very careful that we do not induct ground troops there as part of the American or NATO forces because that would be detrimental to Indian interest in the long run," Sehgal told news agency ANI.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said India is committed to supporting Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace and stability in the country.
The MEA, in a statement, said India shares US' concerns and objectives, adding that New Delhi has always been steadfast in extending reconstruction and development assistance to Afghanistan.
"We welcome President Trump's determination to enhance efforts to overcome challenges facing Afghanistan and confronting issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists. India shares these concerns and objectives," the statement said.
"We are committed to supporting government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in their country," it added.
Donald Trump has announced he will prolong the US military intervention in Afghanistan, which he had once described as a "complete waste".
Trump acknowledged that his "instincts" told him to pull out troops from Afghanistan.
"Historically, I like following my instincts," Trump said. "A hasty withdrawal," Trump said, would create a "vacuum" for terrorists.