International, Security

INDIAN REACTION TO TRUMP’S POLICY STATEMENT on SOUTH ASIA

Trump Modi

Unveiling a new strategy for South Asia on August 21, 2017 that has many elements of continuity from the past, President Donald Trump said the U.S troops would stay in Afghanistan for an open-ended period of time and America would no longer tolerate Pakistan’s policy of harbouring terrorists.

TRUMP

“We welcome President Trump’s determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confronting issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists,” said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) India

  • India on Tuesday welcomed United States President Donald Trump’s new policy on Afghanistan. saying his move will help target “safe havens” of terrorism in South Asia
  • Senior diplomats said that his call for an end to Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism in Afghanistan and his support for Afghan-led peace process addressed a core Indian concern
  • Trump had supported long-held Indian foreign policy principles of non-intervention and non-interference and ended uncertainties over the U.S.’ involvement in Afghanistan

Trump and Modi

  • We welcome the move to have an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan: Satinder Lambah
  • By asking the Afghans to take charge of their internal affairs, President Trump has vindicated the position that India first took in the 1980s and have maintained ever since”: Satinder Lambah, former Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • In his speech, Trump urged India to do more to help Afghans with developmental needs
  • President Trump urged Pakistan to stop the terror attacks that originate from its territory
  • India responded saying that it shared concerns of the U.S. government.
  • We are committed to supporting govt & people of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace, security and stability and prosperity in their country: MEA
  • We have been steadfast in extending reconstruction & development assistance to Afghanistan in keeping with our traditional friendship with its people. We will continue these efforts”: MEA
  • Indian developmental work in civil war-torn country cannot progress unless security situation improved: Satinder Lambah
  • Former Indian envoy to Kabul Amar Sinha said Mr. Trump had put Pakistan on notice and his declaration of a new wave of attacks against Taliban and other terror groups had ended distinctions like ‘good Taliban’ and ‘bad Taliban’.
  • “Unlike his two immediate predecessors, President Trump has indicated that the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan will not be calendar driven and that the U.S. forces will stay in the country as long as necessary.
  • This is a very clear enunciation of the U.S. policy objectives, which is based on the security needs of the region”, Mr. Sinha said, adding that that by demanding “immediate” end to support to terror groups from Pakistan, Mr. Trump had made a strong point.

Baloch activists protest against Pak

  • Diplomats however pointed out that by not asking India to contribute to the military front directly, the United States has spared New Delhi of a major responsibility.
  • “It is good that Trump has not asked India for boots on the ground or a direct role in the security front,” said a commentator requesting anonymity.
  • “United States needs to ensure better security situation for the Indian development work to have the expected impact and US should also bring in Japan, European Union and others into the developmental framework of Afghanistan,” said Mr. Lambah
  • Several countries that are solely invested in finding a security solution to the Afghanistan’s four-decades long crisis should also enter the developmental field.

Pakistan newspaper

Open-ended U.S presence in Afghanistan, Pakistan on notice, bigger role for India: Trump’s South Asia policy

  • We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations,” Mr. Trump said.
  • Unveiling a new strategy for South Asia on Monday that has many elements of continuity from the past, President Donald Trump said the U.S troops would stay in Afghanistan for an open-ended period of time and America would no longer tolerate Pakistan’s policy of harbouring terrorists.
  • Trump said America’s strategic partnership with India will deepen in South Asia and the Indo-Pacfic and demanded that India make more financial contribution for the stabilisation of Afghanistan.
  • The President linked this demand to India’s trade surplus with America saying, India makes “billions and billions of dollars” in trade.

India shares Trump’s concerns on Afghanistan, says MEA

India and afghanistan

  • In agreeing to continue with American engagement in Afghanistan, Mr. Trump deferred to the advise of conventional military planners in his administration.
  • “My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts,” the President said, adding that once he studied the Afghanistan situation, he changed his mind.
  • He did not announce any increase in troops, but said the military will have more operational autonomy to pursue terrorists, and commanders have been given authority to attack whenever they chose to. “…we will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorist and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan.
  • These killers need to know they have nowhere to hide – that no place is beyond the reach of American arms,” the President said, indicating willingness for a new wave of American offensive against Islamist groups in South Asia.
  • David Petraeus, a former U.S commander in Afghanistan likened the situation to the U.S military presence in South Korea which started in the 1950s and continues till date. Talking to the National Public Radio, the general said the U.S will have to treat Afghanistan on similar lines.
  • Trump sought to differentiate his policy from those of his predecessors – he is the third U.S President to oversee the country’s longest war which has entered its 16th year – by saying American involvement in Afghanistan is not for nation building but is limited to “killing terrorists.”
  • He called this policy “Principled Realism.” He blamed his predecessor Barack Obama, without naming him, for the mess in Afghanistan and Iraq, and said the policy “will change dramatically.”
  • “A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions.
  • I’ve said many times how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin, or end, military operations.

India and afghanistan

  • We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities,” he said.
  • He said American would open to a negotiated political settlement with Taliban, if the situation moves in that direction.
  • However, what he described as “three fundamental conclusions about America’s core interests in Afghanistan” echo his predecessors George W Bush and Mr. Obama.
  • “First: Our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made…
  • Second: The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable…
  • A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists – including ISIS and Al Qaeda – would instantly fill, just as happened before September Eleventh…
  • Third and finally, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan and the broader region are immense.”
  • Coming down heavily on Pakistan, Mr. Trump said twenty U.S. designated foreign terrorist organizations were active in Afghanistan and Pakistan: “the highest concentration in any region of the world.
  • For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror,” Mr. Trump said, adding that the current practice of Pakistan receiving American aid and giving shelter to terrorists that target American soldiers cannot go on any longer.
  • “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond.
  • Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor terrorists,” he said.

Pakistan protest

  • The Obama administration had issued similar warnings to Pakistan, and how Mr. Trump could get Pakistan to fall in line remains an open question.
  • “The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict,” the President said.
  • “…and we must prevent nuclear weapons and materials from coming into the hands of terrorists and being used against us,” he said.
  • In both these positions, Mr. Trump signaled continuity with the previous Obama administration.

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