US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis Thursday said India is a force for stability in South Asia and India-US political ties can be tightened together. During a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan, Mattis told members of House Armed Services that India is a nation coming into their own, economically, as a great nation, as they have steady growth rates going on right now. Responding to another question, Mattis said India has an “outsized role” to play in the region because of its size.
He said India gives people hope that their voices can be heard and economic opportunity can be passed broadly in a society. Mattis said India and the US now have a strategic convergence of two natural partners, the two largest democracies in the world. He said there are a number of things in motion right now, and decisions will be coming very soon. He said both the countries are working to turn big words into pragmatic realities.
The Defence Secretary, also praised India’s contributions to the war-torn Afghanistan and said New Delhi has adopted a holistic approach in its assistance towards Afghanistan. He said India’s decision not to send its troops to Afghanistan was in view of Pakistan’s considerations as this would bring in new complexities in the region.
Mattis said, New Delhi has been generous over many years with Afghanistan. He said India has been providing and will continue to provide training for Afghan Army doctors and medics in the field.