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Don`t see military role for India in Afghanistan: Panetta

The US on Wednesday asked India to step up efforts to train security forces of the war-torn country but said it did not see a military role for New Delhi beyond that.



New Delhi: With international troops set to withdraw from Afghanistan, the US on Wednesday asked India to step up efforts to train security forces of the war-torn country but said it did not see a military role for New Delhi beyond that.

"What I asked the leaders here is that to continue to provide the training that they are providing now," US Secretary Leon Panetta said at an interaction at the Institute of Defence Studies Analyses (IDSA) here.

Panetta was referring to his discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K Antony and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.

"I urged that they continue to do that, if possible expand their training in order to prove the efficiency of the Afghan army. There was nothing said about doing anything in terms of additional military efforts in Afghanistan itself," he said about his talks with the top Indian leadership.

Panetta replied in the negative when asked whether the US had any Plan B for Afghanistan from where it has announced withdrawal of combat troops by 2014.
"We dont have a Plan-B. We dont need to have a Plan-B," he said.

"We will continue beyond 2014, we will continue working on counter-terrorism, we will continue to provide training and assistance to their forces ... That is the commitment that President (Barack Obama) has made," he said.

He said the US goal in Afghanistan was to complete the mission of having an Afghanistan that is secure and can govern itself so that it never becomes a safe haven for terrorism.

PTI

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