WASHINGTON: India can help America in keeping an eye on Pakistan and ensure that it is held accountable for giving safe havens to terrorists, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said.
Haley said that one of the pillars of President Donald Trump’s recently announced strategy for combating terrorism in Afghanistan and South Asia is the development of America’s strategic partnership with India.
“America’s overriding interest in Afghanistan and throughout South Asia are to eliminate terrorist safe havens that threaten us. And to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, we will use all the elements of our national power economic diplomatic and military to pursue these goals,” she said.
“Critically we will look to our economic and security partnerships with India,” the India-origin diplomat said in her address at an event organised by the US–India Friendship Council.
President Trump has taken a “tougher approach to Pakistan harbouring terrorists,” she said. “Pakistan has been a partner to the United States at times. We value and respect that. But, we cannot tolerate this government or any other government giving safe haven to terrorists who target Americans. This new approach will require understanding and restraint from both Pakistan and India,” she said.
The US, she said, is looking at India to help it more in Afghanistan particularly in economic and development assistance. India has already made important contributions to the stability of Afghanistan.
“We are really going to need India’s help in Afghanistan. They are the good neighbours and partner that we have in the region,” Haley said, adding, “So, having them help not only with infrastructure and the aide that they can give towards rebuilding Afghanistan, (they can) also help us to keep an eye on Pakistan.” She said that it would important for making sure that they are held accountable.
“We can’t continue to see them harbouring the terrorists. We have to see something change. India is going to witnessing that. India is going to help us with that,” Haley said in response to a question.
The Trump administration, she said, is hoping to expand India’s contribution in Afghanistan through a deep partnership. “The partnership between India and America is strong and getting stronger,” she said.
Responding to a question, Haley said India is a responsible nuclear power. “Because India is a democracy that threatens no one. The United States and India have both felt the pain of terrorism and we share the commitment of defeating terrorists and the hateful ideology that motivates them,” Haley said.
“We want to show the world that yes there are countries that have nuclear weapons, but they are not supposed to act like North Korea. They are not supposed to manage themselves like Iran,” she said.