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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

US pullout from Afghanistan worries India

Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 17, 2013
First Published: 00:07 IST(17/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:06 IST(17/1/2013)

Concerns over heightened terrorism from Pakistan, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, post 2014 US pullout, have brought Washington and New Delhi closer. India and US last week decided to set-up a bilateral dialogue on Afghanistan to keep terrorism emanating from Af-Pak area under control and ensure stability of the Kabul government. The first meeting of the official level bilateral dialogue is scheduled next month.

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Concerns over heightened terrorist activity from Pakistan, particularly in J and K, have brought Washington and New Delhi closer. India and US last week decided to set-up a bilateral dialogue on Afghanistan to keep terrorism emanating from Af-Pak area under control and ensure stability of the Kabul government. The first meeting of the official-level dialogue is scheduled next month.

Government sources said even though there is already a trilateral dialogue between US, India and Afghanistan, the official interlocutors during meetings in Washington last week agreed to have a separate one-on-one channel between the two countries.

This comes after the US  agreed to share details with New Delhi on the reconciliation process in Afghanistan. It is understood that PM Manmohan Singh is concerned over the regional impact of US pullout from Afghanistan.

Washington intends to dilute its equity in Pakistan and may need Islamabad only for the reconciliation process as the logistics line will die down after the pullout.

However, there are clear indications that US intends to keep around 7,000 troops in support of the Afghan army and continue with aerial strikes on terrorist hideouts on the Durand Line.

Senior MEA officials have made it clear to their counterparts in the US that India is opposed to Washington cutting any private deals with Islamabad which may destabilize the region.

India wants that US should continue to push Pakistan on its counter-terrorism agenda and maintain the capability to wipe out high value terror targets in Frontier Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber-Paktunkhwa region of Pakistan.


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