Speaking from the Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Va., Trump said, “We will develop a deeper strategic partnership with India, but we want them to help us more in Afghanistan.”
“Another part of South Asia strategy for America to further develop its strategic partnership with India, the world’s largest democracy and key security and economic partner of US. We appreciate India’s important contribution to bring stability in Afghanistan. But, India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan especially in the area of economic consistence and development,” said Trump.
It is notable that India has been actively helping Afghanistan in the reconstruction of the terror-torn country.
India aided the overthrow of the Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan. Indians are working in various construction projects, as part of India’s rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan.
In the aftermath of the 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul, the Afghan Foreign Ministry quoted India as a “brother country” and the relationship between the two as one which “no enemy can hamper”.
Relations between Afghanistan and India received a major boost in 2011 with the signing of a strategic partnership agreement, Afghanistan’s first since the Soviet invasion of 1979.
According to a 2010 Gallup survey, Afghan adults are more likely to approve of India’s leadership than Chinese or U.S. leadership.
Trump’s desire of a bigger Indian role in Afghanistan is a blow for Pakistan, which has been opposing New Delhi’s presence in Kabul.
Pakistan alleges the Indian intelligence agency RAW is working in cover to malign Pakistan and train and support insurgents. This claim has been rejected strongly by India and the United States, which is historically a strong ally of Pakistan.