The United States of America has lauded the efforts and measures taken by India in Afghanistan to promote economic growth, humanitarian development and security in the war torn country – and looks further for association in future.
A common interest – that is what Afghanistan is for India and the US. Since years, US military is holding significant and bulging presence in Afghanistan, they say, to protect the country from terrorism and militant activities. The United States has always shown keen interest in ‘cleansing’ other sovereign states – for example Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. However, who the American military is trying to “cleanse off” is unclear and particularly, for Afghanistan, it seems like kick-and-help situation. Interestingly, Afghanistan may have indirectly served as a medium to object Pakistan – in multiple ways; and that is good enough reason for India to be interested in ‘helping out’. And the decades old shared cultural and trade history between India and Afghanistan – of course. Hence, India and the US share concentrated economic and humanitarian interests in Afghanistan.
During a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan lauded the efforts of New Delhi in Afghanistan in presence of members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sullivan said, “India further strengthened ties with Afghanistan, with the signing of a development partnership agreement last year. We appreciate these contributions, and we look forward for more ways to work with India to promote economic growth and security in Afghanistan.” And why not, after all, India has given away more than $3 million to development of Afghanistan since 2003 – making it one of the top foreign investors and aids to Afghanistan.
However, the US understands that India’s ultimate goal is to develop business and gain trade interests in Afghanistan; and the secondary goal is ever-known. Hence, Sullivan immediately pointed out how it is not possible to solve crisis in Afghanistan without cooperation of Pakistan. Despite defence-trade rifts with Pak, the United States is seems to be trying to resolve ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Sullivan said, “The key, in my opinion, is the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. If we can’t solve that, this problem isn’t going to go away. And it’s in Pakistan’s interest to solve the situation in Afghanistan as well.” This could possibly prove to be a drag for India.