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US and NATO Troops Withdrawing from Afghanistan Will Raise Tremendous Concerns for India, Experts Say | India News

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WASHINGTON: Following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan for 9/11, India will have tremendous concern over the resurgence of the Taliban and the war-torn country being used as a safe haven for the terrorists, according to experts here.
US President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that all US troops would withdraw from Afghanistan before September 11 this year to end the country’s longest war. Following suit, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said it will also withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
Biden said his administration will ask other countries in the region to do more to support Afghanistan, especially Pakistan, as well as Russia, China, India and Turkey. “Everyone has a significant stake in the stable future of Afghanistan,” Biden said.
“We will not rush to run away. We will do so responsibly, deliberately and safely. And we will do so in full coordination with our allies and partners, who now have more forces in Afghanistan than we do.” he said.
But US experts said countries in the region, especially India, will view with tremendous concern the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the role of Taliban militants following the withdrawal of Western forces from the war-torn country.
“Countries in the region, especially India, will be extremely concerned about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the likelihood of a resurgence of the Taliban in the country,” said Lisa Curtis, deputy assistant to the president and NSC’s senior director for Asia. southern and central in 2017. -2021 under the previous administration of Donald Trump, he told PTI.
“When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, they welcomed militants and terrorists of all stripes to train, recruit, and raise funds from Afghanistan. Many of those militants, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish -e-Mohammad (JeM), trained for operations in India, such as the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, ”said Curtis.
An eminent foreign policy and national security expert with more than 20 years of service in the United States government, Curtis is now a senior fellow and director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New Security think tank. American.
“Indian officials also recall the close cooperation between the Taliban and the militants who hijacked an Indian airliner in December 1999. India may seek to use its role in regional efforts to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, such as the recent effort by the UN to achieve its goal of ensuring that anti-India militants cannot use Afghan territory, ”Curtis said.
“India will worry that Taliban-controlled territory will once again be a safe haven for terrorists,” former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, who is now director for South and Central Asia at the United States, told PTI. Hudson Institute think tank.
The real question now is whether after withdrawing its troops, the United States will continue to help the government in Kabul and whether the Afghan people will be able to keep the Taliban at bay, Haqqani said.
“India and Pakistan cannot afford to distance themselves from the United States and will continue to be involved in Afghanistan. Pakistan is too tied to the Taliban to stop supporting them now, although it should be concerned about the adverse impact that Taliban ideology could have. in Afghanistan. Pakistan, “Haqqani said in response to a question.
India has expressed great concern about the volatile situation in Afghanistan. “Violence and bloodshed are everyday realities and the conflict itself has shown few signs of mitigation, whatever the promises,” Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said at the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference – Process from Istanbul over Afghanistan in Dushanbe on March 30.
“For a lasting peace in Afghanistan, what we need is a genuine ‘double peace’, that is, peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan. It requires harmonizing the interests of all, both within and around that country,” he said in the conference hosted by Tajikistan.
He also said that India welcomes any move towards a genuine political settlement and a complete and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war drew wide criticism Wednesday from leading military figures and aggressive Republicans. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, for example, said Biden was canceling “an insurance policy” that “would prevent another 9/11.”
The Washington Post, in a lead editorial, claimed that President Biden’s plans to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan will lead to disaster in the region. “Mr. Biden has chosen the easiest route out of Afghanistan, but the consequences are likely to be unpleasant,” commented the leading newspaper.
The New York Times said stopping terrorist groups in the long term could be more difficult, a view also shared by The Wall Street Journal.
“The symbolic but arbitrary date shows that the decision is driven less by facts on the ground than by political desire which is also a strategic gamble. History suggests that America’s interests will suffer,” The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial. .
“The departure of the president means that he will have to take responsibility for what happens next. We hope he does not betray the great sacrifices that so many have made,” he said.
The United States and the Taliban signed a landmark agreement in Doha on February 29, 2020 to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow American troops to return home after America’s longest war.
Since the US-led invasion that toppled the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks, some 2,400 US soldiers have been killed. PTI LKJ IND AKJ
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