Indian PM hopes U.S. to "stay involved in Afghanistan"
2009-11-20 23:00:05 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment

NEW DELHI, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hopes the United States and the global community "will stay involved in Afghanistan", said a report by the Indo-Asian News Service Friday.

Singh made the remarks in an interview with the U.S. newspaper the Washington Post on the eve of his visit to the United States next week, according to the report.

He said, "A victory for the Taliban in Afghanistan would have catastrophic consequences for the world, particularly for South Asia, for Central Asia and for the Middle East".

"Religious fundamentalism in the 1980s was used to defeat the Soviet Union. If this same group of people that defeated the Soviet Union now defeats the other major power, this would embolden them in a manner which could have catastrophic consequences for the world," Singh was quoted as saying by the report.

The Indian prime minister also said there will be the prospect of a civil war in Afghanistan if the U.S. withdrew, according to the report.

"We (in India) of course have more immediate concerns. We are victims of terrorism and the extremist ideologies of the type that the Taliban represent. If this is not checked, this could destabilize our country," he said.

"I hope the U.S. public understands where it all started after 911 (terror attack). If Al Qaeda had not had a home in Afghanistan, maybe 911 would never have taken place. God forbid if Al Qaida gets another strong foothold in Afghanistan," he said.

Pakistan wants U.S. to share Afghan roadmap

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday asked Leon E. Panetta, the chief of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to share the American strategy with Pakistan, official said.

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to announce shortly the new Afghan strategy, which will also include deployment more U.S. troops as well as an exit strategy. 


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