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US praises Indian involvement in Afghanistan

Source: PTI
May 01, 2014 11:17 IST
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The Pentagon has praised India's significant contribution in the peaceful development of Afghanistan, aimed at securing a stable region and facilitating economic corridors into Central Asia.

India and Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership declaration in 2011, which formalised cooperation on governance, economics, commerce, education, public administration, and security/law enforcement, it said in a report submitted to the US Congress.

Subsequent engagements are reinforcing the positive relationship between Afghanistan and India, it said.

Noting that India supports a variety of high-visibility projects and initiatives in Afghanistan, the report said these ventures are primarily focused on major infrastructure projects, including electricity generation and transmission, road construction, and mining.

"India is showing increased interest in Afghan security assistance, though activities in this area remain limited. India currently offers India-based training to Afghan National Security Forces personnel across a number of specialties, and the Indian government committed to expand this programme. India does not provide direct military support or training in Afghanistan," the Pentagon said.

The report further said, Pakistan shows a willingness to cooperate on some key US goals, including publicly committing to playing a positive role in a genuine Afghan-led reconciliation process and providing essential support to US retrograde operations from Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan continues to cooperate on some counter-terrorism activities.

"The Pakistani military made limited gains against Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and other anti-Pakistan militant groups in the FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which led TTP to engage in negotiations with the government. However, Pakistan did not take significant action against Afghan or India-focused militant groups," the report said.

In its report, the Pentagon also praised the Afghan national security forces for their conduct in the recent presidential elections.

"Afghan security forces held their own against the insurgency, sustained the gains made in the 2013 fighting season and successfully secured the presidential and provincial council elections on April 5, 2014," it said.

"Despite insurgent intent to disrupt the election process, ANSF layered security operations prevented high-profile attacks across the country and voter turnout was high. The large rise in attacks preceding previous Afghan elections did not occur," it said.

According to the Pentagon, the Taliban-led insurgency failed to achieve its stated operational objectives over the reporting period. 

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