New York: US President Joe Biden has asked India and other regional countries to pitch in to help stabilise Afghanistan as Washington has decided to pull out its troops ending a 20-year-old war.
Announcing his plans on Wednesday to unconditionally bring home the last of the US military before September 11 this year, Biden said: “We’ll ask other countries, other countries in the region, to do more to support Afghanistan, especially Pakistan, as well as Russia, China, India, and Turkey. They all have a significant stake in the stable future for Afghanistan.”
The US and the NATO invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks by the Al Qaeda using hijacked aircraft on New York and Washington.
The terror group was sheltered by the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan.
The way out of Afghanistan was charted by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, who had set a deadline of May 1 for troops’ withdrawal.
Biden is following through, but has extended the deadline to September 11, a date seared in American minds.
NATO also announced on Wednesday a collective withdrawal from Afghanistan.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters that there are 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, a majority from countries other than the US, and they would begin to be withdrawn starting on May 1.
The Kabul government of President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have been holding negotiations that began during Trump’s administration for power-sharing and transition.
The longest US war is estimated to have cost the nation more than $2 trillion, claimed the lives of 2,448 American personnel and left 20,722 troops wounded in action.