India is a responsible aid provider to Afghanistan and the war-torn country seeks strategic partnership with it, the Trump administration has said. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan that India has played an important role in hosting business conferences so that firms interested in investing in Afghanistan can use India as a launching pad.
“We see India’s support to Afghanistan as very important. They are a responsible aid provider. They have pledged USD 3 billion in assistance through 2020,” Wells said. “The Afghan government welcomes that assistance. And the Afghan government welcomes and seeks a strategic partnership with India,” she told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Afghanistan, she said, wants a strategic partnership with India. The US, she said, has worked with India on Afghanistan. “We do joint training programmes, USAID, some of its training programmes are conducted in India. We have a trilateral with Indian officials and Afghan officials to coordinate our efforts, and make sure that we’re lashed up in the development approach and diplomatic approach,” Wells said, responding to questions from lawmakers.
President Donald Trump in his new South Asia strategy unveiled in August last year had sought a major role for India in bringing peace in Afghanistan. He had accused Pakistan of giving “safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror,” and said the time had come “for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace”.