India gets praise for US stance from Taliban
The Taliban has congratulated India for resisting US calls for greater involvement in Afghanistan.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta this month encouraged India to take a more active role in Afghanistan as most foreign combat troops leave in 2014. The Taliban said Panetta had failed.
“He spent three days in India to transfer the heavy burden to their shoulders,” the Taliban said on their English website.
“Some reliable media sources said the Indian authorities did not pay heed to (US) demands and showed their reservations, because the Indians know, or they should know, that the Americans are grinding their own axe.”
India is one of the biggest donors in Afghanistan, spending about $2 billion on projects ranging from the construction of highways to the building of the Afghan parliament. However, it has avoided involvement in bolstering Afghan security, except for running courses for small groups of Afghan army officers at military institutions in India.
The Taliban also seemingly sought to reassure India that its return to power in Afghanistan would not pose a threat to India. The hardline Islamist group have said they won’t let Afghanistan be used as a base against another country.
The Afghan Taliban have long-standing ties to Pakistan and it has been feared in India that if the Taliban regains power in Afghanistan, then Pakistan anti-India militants may become emboldened.