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India & Afghanistan to step up defence ties

Lankan Ranger

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India & Afghanistan to step up defence ties

With Afghanistan slated to handle its own security by 2014, Kabul and New Delhi on Wednesday resolved to step up their bilateral defence cooperation.

"We will welcome any cooperation (from India) in the field of training and helping of Afghan national security forces so that they are able to secure and defend the country," said visiting Afghanistan defence minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak.

Defence minister A K Antony, in turn, assured Wardak that India was "committed" to building "the capabilities" of Afghan security forces. "As a long standing friend of the Afghan people", he said, India remains fully committed to supporting the war-ravaged country in its reconstruction and developmental efforts.

On whether the enhanced defence cooperation would lead to India supplying military equipment to Afghanistan, Wardak said, "We will be discussing it. There is a very genuine interest in strengthening our relations in all sectors including defence."

With India continuing with its policy to counter Pakistan's moves in the strategically-located Afghanistan, PM Manmohan Singh had visited Kabul last month to deepen the bilateral strategic partnership across the political, economic and security fronts.

India has been regularly training Afghan officers and other ranks at its military training institutions, ranging from the NDA and Indian Military Academy at Dehradun to the School of Artillery at Deolali, ever since the Karzai government came to office.

India has also posted some Army officers in the central Asian nation to teach basic military fieldcraft and English skills to the Afghan Army, apart from sending several military doctors to help at hospitals in Kandahar and elsewhere.

Afghanistan has, in fact, sought even more Indian help in "capacity-building" of its armed forces, which even includes training of its pilots and technicians in operating Russian-origin Mi-35 helicopter gunships, as well as sourcing supplies for its Soviet-era tanks and aircraft.

India, Afghanistan to step up defence ties - The Times of India
 

Kinetic

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"We will welcome any cooperation (from India) in the field of training and helping of Afghan national security forces so that they are able to secure and defend the country," said visiting Afghanistan defence minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak.

Training of Afghan army officers as well civil servants, tech workers in India going on for many years. Just this year 14 Afghan Army officers passed out from IMA.

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