The administration of the United States is in touch with India on using it as a staging post for aerial strikes on Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the pullout from Afghanistan.
Blinken’s comments came days before Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet US President Joe Biden on September 24 at the Quad summit.
When asked at the hearing by Congressman Mark Green whether the US had reached out to India as a possible staging area for aerial strikes on any militant haven that might crop up in Afghanistan, Blinken said: “I’m talking northwest India as a potential because Qatar and Doha are just a little bit too far.”
Reports quoting Blinken said, he refused to elaborate, observing that, “Let me just say generally we’re deeply engaged with India across the board with regard to any specifics about over-the-horizon capabilities and the plans that we put in place.”
While Pakistan envoy to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan met Afghan acting Foreign Minister Mawlavi Amir Khan Muttaqi in Kabul on Tuesday, Blinken called on Pakistan to deny legitimacy to the Taliban unless they meet international demands.