US wants ‘more active’ India in Afghanistan
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta will encourage India to play a
“more active role” in Afghanistan during a visit to New Delhi, US
officials said Tuesday.
Washington has previously worried about India antagonising its
arch-foe Pakistan and preferred New Delhi retain a modest profile in the
Afghan conflict restricted to troop training and infrastructure
But officials briefing reporters before Panetta landed in New Delhi
Tuesday said US policy has evolved as the NATO-led force prepares to
withdraw combat troops by the end of 2014.
“Over the last 10 years, for a variety of reasons, India has not
played a particularly active role in Afghanistan,” a senior defence
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters aboard
“We welcome India playing a more active role in Afghanistan, a more
active political and economic role,” the official said.