The U.S. is reportedly planning to tap India as a partner for development projects in Afghanistan, with the collaboration being part of the U.S.’s efforts to assure India that the it wants the Asian country to continue playing an important part in shaping Afghanistan’s future, Maria Abi-Habib writes in The Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog.
“The Indians are more paranoid now than they have been in years,” a U.S. official working in the region said as quoted by Abi-Habib. “The combination of the recent military aid package the U.S. gave to Pakistan and reports of NATO transporting Taliban leaders from Quetta (Pakistan) to Kabul are adding to India’s fears.”
Engaging India in U.S.-led civilian projects in Afghanistan is one way the U.S. is trying to assuage India’s fears, the WSJ reporter notes.
Earlier this year, Timothy Roemer, the U.S. ambassador to India, has proposed a collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development and India’s Self Employed Women’s Association aimed at bringing computer literacy and accounting programs to Afghan women, the writer says.
U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit India this week but it is unclear whether he will talk about the planned collaboration, WSJ notes.