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Obama doesn’t mention any political role for Delhi in Afghanistan


Obama doesn’t mention any political role for Delhi in Afghanistan

President Obama has again repeated that the Bharati role in Afghanistan should be focused on construction activities. Bharat‘s much heralded claim of spending $1.2 billion has come under much scrutiny and has been dis-proven. Most the so called expenditure has been made on Bharati companies which are used as contractors. The road built by Bharat is in total disarray, unnavigable, except by the Taliban who control it. The other buildings are over priced and display shoddy workmanship, much like the Commonwealth Village. The Bharati projects are on hold, pending the peace moves in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has spent billions in hosting betwen 3 to 6 million Afghan refugees for decades, and also in building universities, hospitals and schools in Afghanistan. Pakistan has also spilled blood for their Afghan brethren which cannot be monetized.

President Obama in carefully crafted words shied away from any political role for Bharat in Kabul. The story in the Hindu is a poignant reminder of how meticulously every word is weighed before it is uttered on Bharati soil.

Ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during which Afghanistan situation is expected to come up, U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday hailed India’s reconstruction efforts in the war-torn nation amid his assertion that a “stable Afghanistan is achievable“.

He reiterated that the U.S. will start withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan from next year but made it clear that all the American forces will not be pulled out immediately as such a step would depend on the situation on the ground.

“India’s investment in the development of Afghanistan is appreciated… I do think that there are lessons that India has to show to not just countries like Afghanistan but countries in sub-Saharan Africa,” Mr. Obama said during an interaction with students of St Xavier’s College here.

Citing the example of India’s achievements in agriculture sector, he said such experiments could be replicated in rural Afghanistan and even if farm produce in that country increased by 20 per cent it would go a long way in helping the nation.

While talking about India’s positive role in Afghanistan, the U.S. President underlined that all the countries of the region, including Pakistan, have to share the responsibility of bringing about stability in that nation.

“Pakistan has to be a partner in this process (of bringing about stability in Afghanistan). In fact, all countries of the region need to be partners in this process and the US welcomes them. We don’t think that we can do this alone,” he said, asserting that “a stable Afghanistan is achievable“.

His comments came on the eve of his meeting with Singh when the two leaders would be exchanging notes on the situation in Afghanistan.

India has invested 1.3 billion US dollars in Afghanistan and is undertaking a number of developmental and reconstruction projects there.

Mr. Obama was asked whether his decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan from next year reflected acknowledgment that the U.S. was not winning the war.

“When we went in seven years ago, Kabul was intact but rest of the country was deteriorating and we have been largely able to correct that. But, we don’t want to be in the same situation seven years from now,” he said.

He reiterated the decision to pull out troops from Afghanistan from July 20111 but said complete pullout would depend on “military issues and politics“.

Disagreeing with comparison of Afghanistan campaign with that of Iraq campaign, Mr. Obama said institutions in Afghanistan had not developed completely and civil service and police forces needed to be strengthened further before they can take charge.

He supported Karzai government’s efforts to reach out to Pashtun and Taliban cadres who delink themselves from al-Qaeda but made it clear that those who refuse to dissociate would be dealt with firmly. Hindu.

President Obama must have parity in its relations with Pakistan and Bharat. If the US tilts towards Bharat, it will give rise to Anti-Americanism and will  lead to the failure of US policy in Afghanistan.

Keywords: India, U.S., Afghanistan, Indo-U.S. relations, bilateral ties, Obama visit

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