Home >News >World >Joe Biden sees a significant role for India in stabilising Afghanistan

Washington: US President Joe Biden has said that the United States will start its final withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan on May 1 and complete its pullout ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"The United States will begin our final withdrawal beginning on May 1 this year," Biden said.

He also said that India, Pakistan, Russia, China, and Turkey have a significant stake in the stable future of Afghanistan and these regional stakeholders should do more to bring peace in this war-torn country.

"We will ask other countries in the region to do more to support Afghanistan, especially Pakistan, as well as Russia, China, India, and Turkey. They all have a significant stake in the stable future of Afghanistan," Biden said in a nationally televised speech from the White House.

The US currently has a little over 2,500 troops, which is far less than the 100,000-plus during the Barack Obama administration.

Obama backs Biden's decision to withdraw troops

While supporting Biden's decision, Obama said "American troops, diplomats and development workers can take pride in their efforts to deliver justice for 9/11, destroy al Qaeda's safe-haven, train Afghan Security Forces, and support the people of Afghanistan."

The former President asserted that the role of US will be changed as it will enter into a new chapter to improve governance in Afghanistan.

Biden said the war in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking. "We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives. (Osama) Bin Laden is dead, and al Qaeda is degraded in Iraq, in Afghanistan. And it's time to end the forever war," he asserted.

The Biden administration on Wednesday did not give details of its expectations from India on the latter's role in Afghanistan after the complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

India has been the largest regional contributor to Afghan reconstruction: CRS report

In the past, successive US administrations have praised India’s role in peace and development in Afghanistan.

“India has been the largest regional contributor to Afghan reconstruction, but New Delhi has not shown an inclination to pursue a deeper defense relationship with Kabul," said a recent report on Afghanistan by the independent Congressional Research Service.

“Pakistan’s security establishment, fearful of strategic encirclement by India, apparently continues to view the Afghan Taliban as a relatively friendly and reliably anti-India element in Afghanistan. India's diplomatic and commercial presence in Afghanistan and US rhetorical support for it exacerbates Pakistani fears of encirclement," said the CRS report.

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Kabul supports US decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan: Ghani

In a tweet, the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani informed that he spoke to his American counterpart Joe Biden and assured Afghanistan will work with US partners to ensure a smooth transition.

"Tonight, I had a call with President Biden in which we discussed the US decision to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan by early September," the tweet read.

"The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan respects the US decision and we will work with our US partners to ensure a smooth transition," it added.

Former US President Donald Trump had set a May 1 deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan but the effort has been complicated by logistical issues, according to the senior Biden administration officials.

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