Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said on Thursday that India is concerned about the vacuum that will be created after the withdrawal of the US and NATO troops from war-torn Afghanistan.
General Bipin Rawat said that the main concern should not create “space for other disruptors” and therefore see violence continue in Afghanistan.
India wants to see peace and tranquillity returning to the region, he added.
“We would be very happy to provide whatever support we can in the development of Afghanistan and making sure peace returns to that nation. People have got tired and are looking at peace,” General Rawat said speaking in a virtual discussion at the ongoing Raisina Dialogue 2021.
Asked whether it was Iran and Pakistan that could exploit the situation, the Chief of Defence Staff said there are many nations that would like to step into Afghanistan.
“Many people are looking at the opportunity to exploit the vacuum that is being created. Afghanistan is a nation which is rich in resources,” he said.
Noting there are nations “that tend to exploit resources for their own benefit without the benefit going to the community of that nation”, he said, “The international community must step in to ensure Afghanistan is for the Afghans.”
President Joe Biden announced in Washington on Wednesday that he will withdraw remaining US troops from the “forever war” in Afghanistan. His plan is to pull out all US forces—numbering 2,500 now—by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The UN, together with Turkey, and Qatar, announced on Tuesday that a high-level conference aimed at ending decades of conflict in Afghanistan will go ahead beginning on April 24. There would be representatives from both the Afghan government and the Taliban.
(With IANS inputs)