Hamid Karzai gives India military equipment ‘wish list’

NEW DELHI (TIP): Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday he had given a “wish list” of military equipment to India during his visit this week, presenting a conundrum for New Delhi as it weighs whether arming the Afghan army is in its interests. India wants to stabilize Afghanistan and is concerned about the resurgence of militant groups after foreign combat troops leave in 2014.

However, arming Afghanistan would alarm Pakistan. It takes issue with the influence of its old rival in Afghanistan. India does not want to get drawn into a proxy war with Pakistan, which has ties to the Taliban. India and Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2011 under which New Delhi agreed to assist in the training and equipping of Afghan security forces. India has trained Afghan security force personnel in its military academies, but it has provided little military equipment, according to Indian officials.

India’s Afghan strategy has centred on boosting its influence through economic reconstruction projects. “We have a wish list that we have put before the government of India,” Karzai told reporters, adding that it was up to India to decide how much help it was prepared to give Afghanistan. Karzai would not say what was on the list, but firstpost.com website said it included 105mm artillery, medium-lift aircraft, bridgelaying equipment and trucks. The Indian government had no immediate comment on Karzai’s statement.

Karzai’s spokesman said both countries had agreed not to discuss the contents of the shopping list. An Indian government official said earlier that India had already provided some military equipment to Afghanistan but he declined to give details. He said he was surprised that Afghanistan was speaking openly about a weapons request. India is not a major weapons exporter, and suffers chronic shortages of defence equipment itself, including artillery.

Contested border
Afghanistan’s request for military equipment comes as its relations with Pakistan, which have been difficult for decades, are again at a low. This month, Pakistan border guards and Afghan police clashed over a contested border area.

- Advertise Here Call +1 646 247 9458 -

Trending (48 Hours)

Pentagon chief vows ‘overwhelming’ response to any North Korea nuke use

WASHINGTON (TIP): Pentagon chief Ashton Carter on Oct 20 decried North Korea's latest missile test+ and again vowed an "overwhelming" response if Pyongyang were...
- Advertise Here Call +1 646 247 9458 -