Ghani’s visit: India to scale up military assistance to Afghanistan

sept 14Amid the escalating Taliban-led violence in Afghanistan, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s ongoing visit to India is expected to scale up security cooperation between the two countries as India gears up to provide more military assistance to bolster the Afghan National Security Force.

The Afghan leader is understood to have requested India to provide more lethal weapons that can equip Afghan police/army to take on the Taliban, additional Mi-25 copters to demolish the terrorist havens located within country and more money for the reconstruction of the Afghanistan.

India has already provided three Mi-25 helicopters to Afghanistan, and is expected to announce additional military assistance after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Ghani in New Delhi on September 14.

About a month back, Afghan Army Chief of Staff General Qadam Shah Shaheem asserted that India must provide more military and technical assistance to Kabul to fight the long battle of terrorism. Significantly, the same sentiment was shared by the commander of Resolute Support (US and NATO forces) mission in Afghanistan, General John W. Nicholson who pressed India to provide more military support, including attack helicopters, to buttress the security apparatus in Afghanistan.

The continuing onslaught of terrorism has been hugely costly for Afghanistan, which has led to loss of lives, destruction of public property and ended up eroding the social and moral fabric of the society.India has provided over $2 billion in aid and concessional finance for a host of reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, which has generated huge goodwill for India among Afghans.

Against the backdrop of the rising spiral of terrorism and the shared threat perception, India and Afghanistan are also expected to sign an extradition treaty which will provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders and other criminals from and to Afghanistan. Ahead of Mr Ghani’s visit, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the signing and ratification of the extradition treaty between India and Afghanistan. The signing of this treaty is crucial for India as many anti-India Pakistan terrorist groups operate from Afghanistan, and have often targeted Indian diplomatic facilities over the last few years.

India has signed the Extradition Treaty with 37 countries, which includes Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bulgaria, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany and many others.

 

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