Indian Army presence in Afghanistan can ’squeeze’ Pakistan: Chief

January 14th, 2009 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Indian Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, Wednesday agreed that Indian military presence in Afghanistan could give it some strategic depth against Pakistan. However, he added a decision in this regard has to come from the political leadership.

Speaking to the media ahead of the 61st Army Day, Kapoor said currently India has been providing “soft assistance” to Afghanistan and any decision regarding policy change has to come from political leaders.

“I think it will have to be a political decision if any change has to be there. We have been providing soft assistance in road construction, education and medical aid. Military support or whatever the decision has to come from the hierarchy of the political leadership,” Kapoor said.

“It can be a factor in the decision,” Kapoor said in reply to a query if Indian military presence in Afghanistan would “squeeze” Pakistan on its western front.

India has time and again ruled out sending troops to Afghanistan to be part of the US-led war on terror but has been providing developmental and medical aid as mandated by the United Nations.

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