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Post-Afghan withdrawal, India and US can together fight terrorism: Krishnamoorthi


PTI, Sep 1, 2021, 8:15 AM IST

After the United States withdrew its troops from Afghanistan bringing to an end its longest war in history, an influential Indian-American lawmaker has said that India and the US can assist each other in the fight against terrorism.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said the US should continue its counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan so that it will not become a safe haven for terror groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

“India and US can collaborate in fight against terrorism in many ways, including through intelligence gathering and sharing, and also assisting each other with augmenting capabilities to act against terrorists and thwart their plots,” he told PTI in an interview.

The three-term Congressman from Illinois, Krishnamoorthi is the first ever Indian-American lawmaker member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

“We have to continue our efforts in that regard (against terrorism). I think that will not only involve India and the United States but quite frankly, our allies and partners throughout the region, and in other places around the world,” he said in response to a question.

Asserting that America’s longest running war is now over in Afghanistan, he praised the troops who served in the country and said they helped to evacuate more than 1,20,000 people from the country in the past two weeks, which must be one of the biggest airlifts.

“I think the American people wanted us to depart Afghanistan after having spent 20 years there, trillions of dollars and seeing thousands of American soldiers die,” Krishnamoorthi said.

However, he said the way in which the US withdrew from Afghanistan needs to be investigated as it could have been “handled better”.

“That being said, I think the majority of the American people and certainly my constituents agree with President Biden, that we should no longer be there, and I am committed, along with many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and on mine, to continue to get our Afghan partners out of the country who aided us, who cooperated with us and who remain vulnerable to being targeted by the Taliban,” he said.

Krishnamoorthi said the US should continue its counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan. “Even if it’s through an over the horizon capability we cannot allow ISIS or other groups such as Al Qaeda to find safe haven in Afghanistan.” “As a member of the Intelligence Committee, I will be holding the Taliban, but also our own government, accountable for making sure that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven than it was that precipitated our entry into Afghanistan 20 years ago,” he said.

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