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June 20th, 2013, by Naveed Ahmad

Naveed Ahmad

India-Afghanistan ties: implications on regional peace

 

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai is a shrewd politician, even more so as his term in office nears completion and uncertainty prevails. After a spate of words with Pakistan following a border skirmish, he left for India to seek military assistance against aggressive neighboring troops. For a change, Islamabad kept its cool and welcomed China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who was also flying in after a “handshake across the Himalayas” in New Delhi. As for Karzai, it was not his first flight to India for military hardware or training. However, his action is largely seen as aimed to pressure Pakistan’s newly elected leaders prior to the exit of NATO forces in 2014.

BACKGROUND: The Afghan leader has been wary of Pakistan since he assumed power in December 2001 and his obvious choice for a friend has been India, one of the three nuclear powers in the region. While employing a public aggressive tone against Pakistan, the Afghan leader signed a strategic partnership with India in October 2011.

After his two later visits and one by his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, this time Karzai may be aiming higher than originally discussed and broadly agreed. Though there is no clarity about the financial aspect of the defense deals, the war-torn, landlocked nation is eyeing light and heavy artillery, fighter and supply aircraft, modern small arms and ammunitions.

India is already educating the Afghan military’s young officers in its institutes and training the mid-level command of the Afghan National Army besides imparting knowledge of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism to its soldiers. Moreover, Afghan military men serve in Indian units for a certain period of time.

 

Read Naveed Ahmad’s full article on the Central Asia-Caucasus’ site 

View Naveed Ahmad’s Global Expert profile 

 

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