Withdrawal of US Troops from Afghanistan May Risk Indian Security

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
February 5, 2014 Updated: February 5, 2014

JAMMU—The withdrawal of the United States troops from Afghanistan might pose a great threat to the security of India, particularly the terror infested state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“There is no doubt that we are really worried as to what will happen after the American troops leave Afghanistan,” said Indian Minister Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday according to Daily Excelsior, Jammu’s local newspaper.

“We are worried about what is Taliban going to do, what is Al-Qaeda going to do because there is a feeling that the Pan-Islamic forces want to spread through gun and it’s going to be dangerous for all of us,” Abdullah said.

The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan started in 2011 and from 2014 onwards the troops will make a transit from combat to a supporting role. Afghanistan’s current situation is no doubt a matter of great worry for India: The terrorist elements having affiliation with Taliban had been targeting India since the last two decades, particularly Indian army and administrative establishments in Jammu and Kashmir.

Abdullah is also the president of National Conference, the party elected to form government in Jammu and Kashmir. “Our region is one which is always on the focus of such forces as such we have to be extremely cautious in this part of the country,” he said.

According to Abdullah, India’s Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) should continue in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir that share the border with Pakistan, to ensure that Indian army can effectively stop all elements that threatens peace in the region.

The AFSPA grants the Indian army extraordinary powers to deal with regions that are proclaimed as “disturbed territories” by the Indian government. However, the controversial law has been condemned by various human rights organizations and even the government of Jammu and Kashmir has asked the Indian government to withdraw it from certain regions of the state.

The region of Jammu and Kashmir in border with Pakistan has been an issue of contention and has already led to three wars between the two nuclear power neighbors.

India for long has alleged that Pakistan supports terrorist elements in Kashmir. According to a report in Times of India newspaper, India worries that the premier intelligence service of Pakistan, the Inter-Services Intelligence, might push Taliban elements into Kashmir as the American forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya
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