India financed Pak's problems in Afghanistan: Chuck Hagel

Chguck Hagel

"India's commitment to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is unwavering, and this is reflected in our significant assistance to Afghanistan in developing its economy, infrastructure and institutional capacities. Our opposition to terrorism and its safe havens in our neighborhood is firm and unshakeable."

The embassy made the point that "India's development assistance has been deeply appreciated by... Afghanistan (and) the US", and that New Delhi did not "view (the) engagement with Afghanistan as a zero sum game".

In New Delhi, government sources told The Indian Express that India, US and Afghanistan had had a trilateral in Delhi as recently as on February 19 — their second meeting since last year.

India has had "close and frequent discussions with the US on all issues of mutual interest including on Afghanistan", a South Block official said. "We have consistently received support and encouragement from our US partners for our constructive role in Afghanistan," the official added.

As Nebraska senator from 1997 to 2009, Hagel was member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and frequently travelled to South Asia. He voted in favour of the India-US civilian nuclear deal.

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