Nirmala Sitharaman refuses to deploy Indian troops on Afghanistan soil

Nirmala Sitharaman

In a joint conference with U.S. defense secretary James Mattis, Indian defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that although India is interested in expanding its help to neighboring countries and is expanding, there will be ‘no Indian boots on Afghanistan,’ she said referring that the Indian army will not serve for Afghanistan or any other war-torn nation.

This statement by the minister came as a reply to Mattis’ comment seeking India’s contribution towards establishment of peace in Afghanistan. India will continue to provide developmental and medical assistance to the nation, but will not send in troops, she said.

Last month, U.S. president Donald Trump had called for even greater aid from India for its suffering neighbor country Afghanistan, after India providing $3 billion help, and continues to provide training to its military. This brought in much speculation about India deploying troops in the war torn neighbor, which Nirmala Sitharaman has completely denied.

In a delegation between the defense ministers of the two nations, they resolved to eradicate terrorism safe havens (without Naming Pakistan), wherein James also said that these will not be tolerated.

‘As global leaders, India and the U.S. work together to eradicate this scourge,’ James stated.

The two defense secretaries also emphasized on expanding their maritime cooperation against China’s growing impact in the South China sea.

In his maiden visit to India and the first of any official from the cabinet of Trump, James Mattis landed on Monday and first offered his homage to the Amar Jawan Jyoti in India gate.