Need to prevent reappearance of Taliban post-2014: India

Nirupama Rao

Observing that the drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan by 2014 is now a reality, a top Indian diplomat said there is need to ensure that Taliban does not regain prominence after that.

"There are definite indications of a drawdown in the US presence in Afghanistan. That's the reality that Afghanistan and the region has to deal with.

"And to see what needs to be done in order to secure the situation in Afghanistan and prevent any possibility of an upsurge of violence and terrorism and the reappearance of elements like the Taliban, who have caused so much grief and destruction for that country in years gone by," Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao said at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank.

Rao, in her joint appearance with the US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell, said that the US was in close touch with the Indian government.

"We consult with each other very regularly about the situation in Afghanistan and how we can work together, all of us in the region, to strengthen Afghanistan's capacity to deal with forces that are anti-progress and do not want peace or

stability in Afghanistan. So we have to all work together to strengthen Afghanistan's capacity to deal with forces that threaten its progress and prosperity," Rao said.

In Afghanistan, she said India has adopted the policy of "Invest and Endure."

The fact is Afghanistan's development is very much a primary goal or primary concern for India.

"The investments that we have made, the commitments in development cooperation that we have made in last few years are evidence of that," Rao said adding I don't want to go into more details about it, but it's there for the world to see.

"This is apart from the security cooperation and the strategic partnership document, the agreement that we concluded, India and Afghanistan, last fall encompasses all these areas together. So it's the best guide, in fact, and indicator about the level of cooperation that we have with Afghanistan and that we intend to undertake with Afghanistan," she noted.

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