Trump 'Evaluating' Whether To Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan

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Why is the United States involved instead of, say, Russian Federation?

Comparing the USA assistance work with India's humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, Trump said the amount, which India might have spent on that library, was five hours of work the U.S. does in the country.

It was unclear which project Trump was referring to, but India has committed $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since 2001.

It gives 1,000 scholarships a year to Afghan students.

On Thursday, Afghan officials contested Trump's account - which was also at odds with the State Department's Office of the Historian.

India has centuries-old ties with Afghanistan and both accuse common neighbour Pakistan of not doing enough to stop Islamist militants operating on their territory.

The port is also a key link in the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200-km-long multi-modal network of the ship, rail and road routes to move freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

Clearly, Trump has taken note of the sea change in the Pakistani stance lately on Afghanistan after Imran Khan came to power, especially Imran Khan's changed position that in some form - may be, in some reduced form - the USA military presence should continue in Afghanistan for a conceivable future.

And, by the way, I am not opposed to a withdrawal from Afghanistan, but this is very much ranging into broken clocks getting the time right twice a day or blind squirrels finding nuts.

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"He appreciated the assistance provided by India for economic development and reconstruction of Afghanistan and also for human resource development, including training of Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in India", it stated. Trump alleged that he provided for a generous budget for the Pentagon but the result in Afghanistan is "not too good". But if Pakistan would help us, we could get Taliban to the table and end the war in Afghanistan.

Sources said India has been implementing a range of mega infrastructure projects as well as carrying out community development programmes in Afghanistan as per requirement of its people.

Apparently, Trump echoed similar views when he suggested roping-in neighbouring states but he only named India, Pakistan and Russian Federation.

He referred to Prime Minister Modi as an example of how world leaders were talking about their contributions that were nowhere near the billions of dollars the United States was spending. The reports had triggered concern in Afghanistan and the Nato Alliance partners. Khalilzad had till now, skipped two visit to India. Besides India has announced that it will assist 116 small development projects in Afghanistan.

Trump mocking Modi came as a rude shock to the ruling BJP since the Indian prime minister has often flaunted his "friendship" with the US President.

India also provides humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

This is the first time the USA belittled the Indian assistance to Afghanistan, which is estimated to be close to 2 billion dollars.

It said: "This partnership is built on the specific needs and requirements worked out with the government of Afghanistan. We are building lives, for which d Afghan people thank us, no matter what others do or don't".

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