MPs asks US not to withdraw from Afghanistan

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 14:44

Washington: Indian lawmakers have warned US that withdrawing troops from war-ravaged Afghanistan from July next year without defeating Taliban and al-Qaeda would be devastating for the region as well as for America.

Once US forces withdraws from Afghanistan, the entire region including parts of Pakistan would emerge as a more strong safe haven for the terrorists and it would considered as a victory for their ideology following which they would not hesitate to unleash an era of terror in the region, the Indian delegation told US lawmakers and officials.

Highly placed sources in the delegation which is led by Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi, which among others briefly met the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,
and had an intensive discussion with a team of top State Department officials led by the Deputy Secretary of State, Bill Burns.

India, being in the immediate neighbourhood, would be immediately affected, the MPs felt that the western countries including Europe and the US would experience a sudden increase in terrorist activities emanating from that part of the world.

They clearly told top Obama Administration officials and US lawmakers that they believe that it would be nothing less than devastating for the US as well for the region if
America withdraws from Afghanistan without substantial victory against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

About a dozen Indian MPs were in Washington, as part of their last leg of their India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programme organised by the Yale University in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Meanwhile, the White House reaffirmed that it will begin draw down of its troops from Afghanistan as scheduled from July 2011.

"The reason the timeline is in place is to give some urgency to the folks planning in the US government to Afghanistan and to our partners around the world who are
helping in that effort," White House Deputy Press Secretary, Bill Burton, said.

Other members of the delegation were two Union Ministers of State Ajay Maken and Agatha Sangma, besides Anto Antony, Gaddam Vivekanand, Pradeep Majhi from the Congress, Jyoti Dhurve and Janardhana Swamy from the BJP.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Shiromani Akali Dal), Bhartruhari Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal), Asaduddin Owaisi (All India Majlis-e Ittihad al-Muslimin) and Neeraj Shekhar
(Samajwadi Party) were other MPs in the delegation.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 14:44

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