Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, announced his administration’s strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. This strategy is being drawn 16 years after US launched its war on terror. The indian cabinet welcomed this thought with open arms as Trump targeted the immediate adversary, Pakistan. Trump has made the strategy such that he is determined to confront the issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists – a supposed reference to Pakistan.

“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond… Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor terrorists.”

Sources said that the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson called up External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj before Trump’s speech and gave her the news to digest this minor victory in the form of stronger ties with America. This, the sources claim, will be the core area of bilateral conversation between India and the US, especially considering the 2+2 format between the Defense and External Affairs Ministers of both countries. This format will be replacing Obama administration’s Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) between Foreign and Commerce Cinisters.

“We are committed to supporting the government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in their country. We have been steadfast in extending reconstruction and development assistance to Afghanistan in keeping with our traditional friendship with its people. We will continue these efforts, including in partnership with other countries”, said the Ministry of External Affairs. The MEA has assured India’s commitment in staying engaged in the mission to attaining a stable and strong Afghanistan.

Trump reached out to India in his speech saying he “appreciates India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan” while he also added that India makes big bucks in trade with the United States so he wants India to help “more”, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.

India has overall made a commitment of $US 3 billion which according to Delhi is a significant contribution. India is officially the fifth largest aid provider to Afghanistan. 16,000 Afghan students are studying in India, 4000 Afghan officers are trained in Indian defense and police academies. India has also constructed the Afghan parliament, the Salma Dam, and the Zaranj Delaram highway. India has helped Afghanistan and is determined to continue doing so. ;- donald trump