Terming India’s developmental aid to Afghanistan as “extremely positive”, the US has said New Delhi consciously chose not to take up a major role in training security forces of the war-torn country as it was mindful of Pakistan’s sensitivities in this regard.
India has taken “a very responsible approach” towards Afghanistan, Michele Flournoy, US Under-Secretary of Defence for Policy, said.
“Their development assistance is extremely positive and helpful in the country. And, ultimately, this is between Afghanistan and India. But we’ve seen them take a very carefully calibrated and helpful role to date,” she said.
Flournoy said India has “actually been very careful, very mindful of the fact that Pakistan is sensitive to the types of assistance it provides to the Afghans.”
“It has consciously chosen not to take a major role, for example, in the training and development of the security forces. They have a small police training programme for female police officers in India,” she said in response to a question at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, according to a copy of the transcript provided by the Pentagon here.
But India really has chosen “to stay away from that effort in order not to exacerbate Pakistan’s concerns,” Flournoy said.
Afghanistan needs to develop positive ties with all its neighbours, she said, noting that the Afghans and Indians have recently signed a strategic partnership of their own.
“We have not seen the details of that document, but our understanding is that India is primarily at this point providing a great deal of development assistance to Afghanistan in the transportation and infrastructure sectors, and so forth,” she said.