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“There Shall Not be Boots From India On The Ground (In Afghanistan)”: RM Nirmala Sitharaman

Shailesh Kumar, National Defence
New Delhi, 26 September 2017
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made it clear that Indian forces will not reinforce US armed forces in Afghanistan. “…however, off course, We have made it very clear that there shall not be boots from India on ground”, RM Sitharaman said sitting alongside James Mattis, visiting US Secretary of Defense while answering a question from Indian Media. United States of America in a new policy shift announced in August now holds back the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

US President Donald Trump on 21st August announced new South Asia policy in a major policy shift termed India as a “Strategic Partner” and rebuked Pakistan for providing “safe heavens to terror organizations”. General James Mattis’ India visit post policy change is construed as major policy execution step.

 


US Secretary of Defence James Mattis paying homage to martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti
US Secretary of Defence James Mattis paying homage to martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti

“We applaud India’s invaluable contribution to Afghanistan & welcome further efforts to promote Afghanistan’s democracy, stability and security”, US Secretary of Defence said in his joint press statement.   (Watch full Indo-US Joint Press Statement on National Defence. Click here)

Nirmala Sitharaman elaborated, “India’s contribution to Afghanistan has been for a very long time and has consistently on developmental issues. We built dams, we built hospitals, we shall continue doing all of them. Dams, schools, hospital, any institution, which Afghanistan may require, we will continue supporting them”.

“We are also at the moment providing training in the name of good governance to officials and also to their administrators. That training will continue, so that engagement will possibly enhanced if necessary. Medical assistance is also provided by India”, she added.

James Mattis recieving guard of honour at South Block in New Delhi
James Mattis recieving tri-service guard of honour at South Block in New Delhi

“We also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. The situation in our neighbourhood and the growing menace of cross-border terrorism were discussed in depth. There is growing convergence in the approaches of both our countries on this issue. We both recognize the importance of holding those who use terrorism as an instrument of state policy to account and to dismantle the infrastructure that supports terrorism”, said Nirmala Sitharaman.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pointed out while reading his press statement at South Block, “As you are aware, India welcomed President Trump’s new US Strategy for Afghanistan announced last month. Today, I had useful discussions with Secretary Mattis on how we could strengthen our cooperation bilaterally as well as with the Government of Afghanistan in pursuit of our common objective of a peaceful, democratic, stable and prosperous Afghanistan”.

The Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis at the delegation-level talks in New Delhi on Tuesday, September 26, 2017
The Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis at the delegation-level talks in New Delhi on Tuesday, September 26, 2017

“Our two countries recognize the threat that Global terrorism poses to people throughout the world. There can be no tolerance of terrorist safe heavens”, James Mattis said in his address to media. This stand of US is clearly an endorsement of surgical strikes India carried out on terror camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on 29th September last year following attack on Uri Army camp by Pakistan based terrorists. According to sources there are around 39 terror camps still operating in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

James Mattis emphasized, “Äs global leaders, India and the United States resolve to work together to eradicate this scourge”.

Also Watch Who is James Mattis? Click here!

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One Thought to ““There Shall Not be Boots From India On The Ground (In Afghanistan)”: RM Nirmala Sitharaman”

  1. Rahul

    Wonderful decision by the Government unlike Rajiv Gandhi’s illadvised interference in Sri Lanka for which he paid the price and so did the Indian army.

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