New Delhi was quick to welcome President Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan policy. Trump, in a prime-time televised address to the nation, ruled out a hasty withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan to end America’s longest war, as he warned Pakistan of consequences for providing safe havens to terrorists and sought an enhanced role for India to bring peace in the war-torn country. Writing for Indian Express, C. Raja Mohan has said in an op-ed, “For Delhi, the question is not whether Trump’s Afghanistan strategy is a glass half-full or half-empty. It is about seizing the opportunity opened up by his new policy to raise India’s profile in Afghanistan”
The writer pointed out that India’s positive response does not mean that Delhi is unaware of the enduring impulses in Washington to forgive Pakistan transgressions in Afghanistan. He added, whatever the US president might say, there are large sections of the US deep state that caution against a radical shift in US policy towards Pakistan.
Interestingly, he noted that if the US has tolerated this for the last 17 years, New Delhi should to be cautious in its assessment of what the Trump Administration can compel the Pakistan Army to do today. The writer said, “while scepticism is healthy, cynicism that ignores the changes taking place in the US regional policy is not.”
During the Bush Administration, when it came to Pakistan and Afghanistan, it drew a red line for India. It had cautioned Delhi against too large a role in Afghanistan, Mohan said. The writer cautioned Delhi to keep its eyes open for a return of these familiar themes in the US approach to Pakistan. However, he also said, India at the same time must also appreciate the most important change in US Afghan policy.