India rejects Trump’s ‘sermons’ on Afghanistan, says it is building lives

The Congress on Thursday termed as "completely unacceptable" US President Donald Trump's "library" jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked the government to remind America of India's assistance to Afghanistan.

On these reports, US President Donald Trump, at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, insisted on regional countries' role in Afghanistan and said Russian Federation and Pakistan should be fighting in Afghanistan, not the United States. To begin with, India treats Afghanistan as an equal partner in the process of rebuilding the country. "You know, a lot of these places you're reading about now are no longer part of Russian Federation, because of Afghanistan". And he tells us and he's very smart, and we're supposed to say - Oh!

Trump has said Modi was "constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan".

The Soviet Union also presented itself as the true defenders of Muslim Afghans, who were under attack by "imperialism", and suggested that the United States was planning to use Afghanistan as a way to subvert the U.S.S.R. But it's one of those things. "I don't like being taken advantage of", the president added. No doubt, the revival of the US-Saudi Arabia-UAE-Pakistan caucus to finesse the Taliban's role in the future Afghan political scenario meets with Washington's requirement. "Once we can provide assistance to our ground troops from air, a big need for United States presence would be diminished".

Congress said India did not "need sermons from the United States on Afghanistan".

"President Reagan said at that time: "As long as the Soviet Union occupies Afghanistan in defiance of the global community, the heroic Afghan resistance will continue and the United States will support the cause of a free Afghanistan", Mr Faisal said.

USA forces make up the bulk of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission that is training and advising Afghan security forces in their fight against the Taliban and Islamic State (IS) militants.

Trump alleged that he provided for a generous budget for the Pentagon but the result in Afghanistan is "not too good".

India has been one of the most enthusiastic countries over the USA mission in Afghanistan, where the former Taliban regime sheltered fiercely anti-Indian militants.

Besides mega infrastructure projects, India is implementing 116 new "high impact community development projects" in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the areas of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sports infrastructure, administrative infrastructure.

India has been a major player in the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and has committed approximately US$3 billion to the cause since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Economic Times reports.

Responding to a question, he said he wants India to be involved in Afghanistan.

Why is the U.S. involved instead of, say, Russian Federation?

"The objective has been to cater to the needs of the Afghan people and earn their goodwill and India has achieved these aims", Jacob told Al Jazeera.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had visted India a year ago and held wide-ranging talks with Modi on ways to further boost bilateral cooperation. "So, I do not think Trump's views reflect those of the American foreign policy even as the USA has been pushing New Delhi to be militarily involved in Afghanistan", said Jacob, the national security analyst.

Pew's most recent survey showed that 49 per cent American adults believed the United States had failed in Afghanistan.

  • Rogelio Becker