India concerned about US pullout from Afghanistan

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New Delhi

India is concerned about a vacuum developing in Afghanistan following the proposed withdrawal of the United States and Nato forces from the country, the chief of the defence staff said on Thursday.

General Bipin Rawat told a security conference that the worry was “disruptors” would step into the space created by the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. He declined to name the countries that could act as spoilers.

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan starting on May 1 to end America’s longest war, rejecting calls for them to stay to ensure a peaceful resolution to that nation’s grinding internal conflict.

“Our concern is that the vacuum that will be created by the withdrawal of the United States and Nato should not create space for disruptors,” Rawat said.

India’s big worry is that instability in Afghanistan could spill over into occupied Kashmir where it has been fighting for three decades.

It is also concerned that Pakistan will gain a bigger hand in Afghanistan because of its long-standing ties with the Taliban, who are expected to play a dominant role once the United States leaves.—Agencies