WASHINGTON: US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday that India could help the US keep an eye on Pakistan as President Donald Trump has “taken a tougher approach to Islamabad harbouring terrorists”.
She was speaking in her address at an event organised by US-India Friendship Council.
Noting that Trump recently announced a new strategy for combating terrorism in Afghanistan and South Asia, Haley said one of the pillars of that strategy was the development of America’s strategic partnership with India.
“Pakistan has been a partner to the US 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.
Haley said that America’s overriding interest in Afghanistan and throughout South Asia was to eliminate terrorist safe havens that threatened America, adding that the US will make use of all elements of its national power, including economic, diplomatic and military means, to pursue this end.
She added that the US would look critically at its economic and security partnerships with India, saying that the US relied on India for assistance in its economic and developmental activities in 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,” she said.
Haley said that not only would India help in the provision of infrastructure and aid towards rebuilding Afghanistan, India could also help the US to keep an eye on Pakistan.
“That is going to be really important in making sure that we hold them accountable because we are at a point where we kind of laid the groundwork that we need to see better partnership from Pakistan. We can’t continue to see them harbouring the terrorists. We have to see something change. India is going to be witnessing that. India is going to help us with that,” Haley said in response to a question.
The Trump administration is hoping to expand India’s contribution in Afghanistan through a deep partnership, she said.