India has said that the US should continue to be engaged in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. “Another area of growing convergence is the high priority being attached by both sides to countering terrorism,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday while inaugurating the inaugurating the first edition of the India-US Forum here.
“Both our countries have been direct victims of this scourge,” she said.
“In India, we have been facing cross-border terrorism for many years now. This is now recognised as a larger regional — even global — challenge.”
She referred to the joint message against terrorism issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump during the former’s visit to Washington in June which sent a “clear and unambiguous message” against terrorism “to be pursued with resolve by the international community”.
“An important theatre of cooperation over the last decade and half between India and US has been Afghanistan,” Sushma Swaraj said.
“We deeply appreciate the sacrifices made by the US to preserve peace, security and democracy in Afghanistan. However, it is important that the international community, particularly the US, must remain engaged in Afghanistan so that the gains of the last 16 years are not frittered away.”
The External Affairs Minister said that India has made its own contributions and remained committed to continue supporting the people and government of Afghanistan.
“We have pledged another $1 billion to the earlier $2 billion as reflection of our continued commitment,” she stated.
“During PM Modi’s visit to the US, our leaders have agreed to work together and with the government of Afghanistan to secure a democratic, peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan.”
India is among the biggest aid donors for the reconstruction of war-torn Afghanistan.