US President Donald Trump seemed to have suggested Wednesday, for the first time perhaps, that India and other countries such as Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan need to step up the “fight” against the Islamic State in Afghanistan.
“India is right there, they are not fighting it, we are fighting it,” Trump told reporters, answering a question about US plans to keep its troops in Afghanistan or withdraw them as regards the ongoing peace talks. “Pakistan is right next door. They are fighting it, very little, very, very little.”
“Not fair,” he added.
It could not ascertained if the US president has broached with India these new expectations because this marks a significant shift in American strategy, and his own 2017 South Asia Strategy, that envisaged a role for India only in reconstruction and development works in Afghanistan.
It was not expected to — nor does it want to — participate in combat operations, in counter-terrorism operations.
Though nearly decimated in Iraq and Syria, the IS has been gaining ground in Afghanistan where it killed 63 people in a suicide bombing just days ago.
The US president, who is keen to end the war, said the US has been fighting that war for a long time and it does not want to spend another 19 years — he may have meant 18, which the is the duration of us US troops presence there starting September 2001 — and other countries need to step up and contribute.
At a certain point, all of these other countries where ISIS (another name for IS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is there,” he said, “all these countries will have to fight them.”
And he went on to name them” Russia, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and, lastly, India. And went on to air his grievances with India and Pakistan briefly.