Donald Trump

New Delhi, Aug 24 : US President Donald Trump's new policy on Afghanistan, which says that India can play a greater role, was on Thursday hailed by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

"President Donald Trump's policy announcement on South Asia is a dramatic shift from the previous policy of the U.S. towards South Asia," USISPF President Mukesh Aghi said in a statement.

"For the first time, the US has publicly acknowledged the importance of US-India partnership in the development of a secure and prosperous Afghanistan," Aghi said.

The USISPF is a non-profit organisation focused on deepening business relations between the US and India, and enhancing the strategic relationship between the two countries.

While announcing his new Afghan policy on Monday, Trump termed India as "a key security and economic partner of the United States" and said that developing a strategic partnership with India was a "critical part of the South Asia strategy for America".

He also blamed Pakistan for harbouring "safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond".

Aghi said that India has played a crucial role in balancing the geopolitical equation in South Asia and has been a "reliable and trustworthy partner" for the US.

"India has been an important ally for Afghanistan especially in infrastructure development, health services and military equipment, however India's contribution had been decoupled from US policy until now," he stated.

"This announcement corrects that anomaly. It will build trust and partnership between the two countries and usher in significant strategic and business impact," he added.


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