(NEW DELHI) — India has a lot at stake in the continued foreign occupation of Afghanistan.
There are concerns that once the U.S. and its allies leave the country in 2014, Islamic radicals will seek to fill the vacuum and undo all the gains made in what will have been a 13-year-conflict by that time.
From India’s standpoint, that puts its own national security in jeopardy because of its long-standing feuds with Pakistan and how radical Islamists will become more emboldened in Pakistan if they see Afghanistan as a ready ally.
As a result, India has urged the U.S. and NATO to stay the course in Afghanistan until the coalition is absolutely certain that Afghan national forces are ready and equipped to handle their own security responsibilities against the Taliban and its followers.
India has also put its money where its mouth is by donating $2 billion to Kabul since 2001 to help keep the Taliban from regaining power.
The U.S. and India have scheduled high-level talks for June 13 to discuss the matter of Afghanistan.
In the interim, Nirupama Rao, New Delhi’s ambassador to Washington, said the two nations already have been holding discussions on building “a stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Michael Pearson, Faith Karimi and Ian Lee, CNN