India rules out military involvement in Afghanistan

April 8th, 2008 - 10:05 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) India Tuesday ruled out any military involvement in Afghanistan, which is facing Taliban resurgence once again, as the defence ministers of the two countries met here Tuesday. “India has been helping in rebuilding and rehabilitation in Afghanistan and will continue doing so. However, there will not be any military involvement there,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony said after meeting his Afghan counterpart Abdul Rahim Wardak.

“We are seeking Indian cooperation against threats of terrorism and extremism. I am told you (India) have good counter-insurgency training institutes. We will share our experience,” Wardak, a four-star general in the Afghanistan army, told reporters after the meeting.

Wardak, who is on a weeklong visit to India with his delegation comprising policymakers and key officers of the Afghanistan Army and Air Force, will Wednesday visit the army establishments in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Jammu and Kashmir is facing the same problem of infiltration as faced by Afghanistan. So Wardak probably wants a first-hand experience of the counter-insurgency operations in the state,” a well-placed defence source said.

Wardak will visit the 15 Corps headquarters in Srinagar, where he will be given a presentation on the counter-insurgency operations. He will be the first Afghanistan defence minister to visit the border state in three decades.

“In the meeting with the Indian defence minister, Wardak sought an increase in their defence capability so that they can handle the defence of Kabul alone in the near future,” the source said.

Wardak said there has been a decline in the face-to-face fighting with the Taliban, which is now employing means like improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

“The minister has sought enhancement of logistical capability of their large Soviet fleet of aircraft and tanks from India, which also has a similar inventory. Moreover, the minister also sought assistance in terms of supply of spares of Mahindra and Tata vehicles,” he said.

“Afghanistan have eight to 10 MI-35 helicopter gunship for which they have asked for training support from Indian Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major,” he added.

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