Washington: Observing that the drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan by 2014 is now a reality, a top Indian diplomat said there is need to ensure that Taliban does not regain prominence after that.
"There are definite indications of a drawdown in the US presence in Afghanistan. That`s the reality that Afghanistan and the region has to deal with.
"And to see what needs to be done in order to secure the situation in Afghanistan and prevent any possibility of an upsurge of violence and terrorism and the reappearance of elements like the Taliban, who have caused so much grief and destruction for that country in years gone by," Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao said at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank.
Rao, in her joint appearance with the US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell, said that the US was in close touch with the Indian government.
"We consult with each other very regularly about the situation in Afghanistan and how we can work together, all of us in the region, to strengthen Afghanistan`s capacity to deal with forces that are anti-progress and do not want peace or stability in Afghanistan. So we have to all work together to strengthen Afghanistan`s capacity to deal with forces that threaten its progress and prosperity," Rao said.
In Afghanistan, she said India has adopted the policy of "Invest and Endure." The fact is Afghanistan`s development is very much a primary goal or primary concern for India.
"The investments that we have made, the commitments in development cooperation that we have made in last few years are evidence of that," Rao said adding I don`t want to go into more details about it, but it`s there for the world to see.
"This is apart from the security cooperation and the strategic partnership document, the agreement that we concluded, India and Afghanistan, last fall encompasses all these areas together. So it`s the best guide, in fact, and indicator about the level of cooperation that we have with Afghanistan and that we intend to undertake with Afghanistan," she noted.
Powell in response to another question appreciated India`s contribution in Afghanistan.
"On the training, I think there`s a recognition that the Afghan security forces can benefit from training inside India. This is being done in a variety of different ways with both the police and the officers. So, I think there was recognition of the benefit of this and a desire to diversify the training that the Afghans were receiving; the Indians made that offer,” she said.
The US, she said, has had a very good discussion of Afghanistan out to 2014 so that there was a better appreciation among Indian leaders of where the United States strategy is going on the military front, where they are looking at the international community pieces.
Rao said Afghanistan does represent a security challenge to all in the region. There has been a history of turbulence, of instability, of violence and terrorism in that country.
"And all of us who are stakeholders, have an interest in seeing a peaceful Afghanistan would not like to see any regression or reversion to the situation as it obtained in that country before 2001," the Indian Ambassador said.