India will not deploy troops to Afghanistan

NEW DELHI (The Statesman/ANN) - India has refused to send troops to Afghanistan - and the government has made it clear to the US defence secretary 

India has ruled out troops deployment in war-torn Afghanistan even as India and the US discussed in detail the menace of terrorism in the region and  pledged to eradicate the “scourge” for peace and stability.

“There shall not be boots from India on the ground (in Afghanistan),” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the media at a joint conference with visiting US Defence Secretary James Mattis after talks with him.

Mattis is the first high ranking official of the Trump administration to visit India and comes in the wake of US President Donald Trump announcing his new policy on Afghanistan last month asking India to help more with the troubled country, battling decades of Islamist insurgency.

Sitharaman said India's contribution to Afghanistan has been present for a very long time in development activities like building dams, schools, hospitals, roads and any institution which the country may require. Mattis said both India and the US have suffered losses due to terrorism and “one aspect of this is universally shared by all responsible nations that there shall be no safe havens for terror”.

The US Defence Secretary did not name Pakistan but Sitharaman minced no words in saying that terror attacks in Mumbai or in New York originated from Pakistan. “The very same forces which did find safe haven in Pakistan were the forces that hit New York as well as Mumbai,” she said. She urged the US Defence Secretary to “speak out and raise this issue” on his next visit to Pakistan.

Replying to a question, Mattis appreciated India's efforts along with the international community for increasing pressure on North Korea over nuclear activities. The two sides discussed maritime security in the India Ocean and the Indo-Pacific region.

 Stating that Mattis was a special visitor for her personally as he is the first Ministerial counterpart she was meeting since becoming Defence Minister, Sitharaman said Defence cooperation between India and the US has grown significantly in recent years.  She said cooperation in defence equipment has grown steadily over the past years and the US is now a leading supplier of state-of-the-art defence equipment to India. She appreciated  Mattis’ willingness to share further cutting-edge platforms which would enhance India's defence preparedness to meet emerging threats.

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  • India will not deploy troops to Afghanistan

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