India Pledges Aid for Afghanistan While Facing Growing Number of Islamic State Defectors

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (L) and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for the media outside Hyderabad House in Delhi, India September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

India pledged another billion dollars in aid for Afghanistan this week, while facing heightened terrorism concerns after the defection of 22 Indian nationals to the Islamic State.

Khaama Press reports the new $1 billion commitment comes on top of $2 billion already spent by India on construction projects in Afghanistan.

“The two leaders discussed the regional situation and expressed grave concern at continued use of terrorism and violence in the region for achieving political objectives,” read a statement issued after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Afghanistan’s President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

“Stressing that elimination of all forms of terrorism, without any discrimination, is essential, they called upon the concerned to put an end to all sponsorship, support, safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists, including for those who target Afghanistan and India,” the statement continued.

Another Khaama report on Tuesday said that at least 22 Indian nationals who were reported missing earlier this year have defected to join the Islamic State.

This information was gleaned by interrogating a 29-year-old woman named Yasmin, the second wife of ISIS recruiter Abdul Rasheed. She was arrested by Indian authorities in early August while attempting to travel between from New Delhi to Kabul, with the evident goal of joining the ISIS defectors.

“Her arrest is an important breakthrough in the case. She has close links with Islamic State network operating in India,” said a police official at the time of her arrest.

Yasmin told investigators the Islamic State recruits from India included 13 men, 6 women, and 3 children, who “left their houses in Kasaragod and Palakkad districts of Kerala between mid-May and the first week of July.” Their goal was reportedly to reinforce the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

“Coalition officials had earlier said the loyalists of the terror group have managed to consolidate operations with the main group based in Iraq and Syria as they attempted to establish a regional operational base in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan,” Khaama reports.


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