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'Rising Indian influence in Afghan causing regional tension'

world Updated: Sep 22, 2009 13:00 IST
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India's huge developmental efforts in Afghanistan "is likely to exacerbate regional tensions" forcing Pakistani countermeasures, according to a US confidential report submitted to President Barack Obama.

Since the defeat of the Taliban in 2001, it is for the first time that a top American military official has perceived India's increasing influence in Afghanistan as counterproductive to its efforts.

General Stean McChrystal, the top US military commander in Afghanistan, in a confidential report submitted to Obama on August 30 said the current Afghan government is perceived by Islamabad to be pro-Indian.

"While Indian activities largely benefit the Afghan people, increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani countermeasures in Afghanistan or India," he said.

All this while, the US has been very appreciative of India's developmental effort in the war-torn country. India is among the top donors for Afghanistan and has been mainly involved in civilian and developmental activities.

"Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan, including significant development efforts and financial investment," said General McChrystal in the confidential report submitted to Obama on August 30.

It also said senior leaders of the major Afghan insurgent groups are based in Pakistan and "are reportedly aided by some elements of Pakistan's lSI".

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