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Karzai visit: Security booster dose on the cards

delhi Updated: Oct 04, 2011 01:35 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
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India and Afghanistan are looking at adding more security heft to their strategic partnership when Afghan president Hamid Karzai meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh his visit to India on Tuesday.

Karzai will also hold discussions with external affairs minister SM Krishna and NSA Shivshankar Menon.

India and Afghanistan decided to increase their security cooperation as New Delhi agreed to enhance training programmes for the military and police.

Karzai’s visit also comes at a time when Afghan peace process is in shambles and cracks in Af-Pak and US-Pakistan ties are more pronounced.

India's plans to enhance the security cooperation fit in with its two-pronged assistance strategy for Afghanistan-capacity building and human resources development. India has committed around $2 billion in Afghanistan.

Pakistan views with suspicion any such security cooperation as it goes against Islamabad's strategic calculations.

Addressing the Afghan parliamentarians in May this year in Kabul, Singh had said, “As Afghanistan moves towards assuming full responsibility for its security, we stand ready to widen our cooperation...”

Indian officials feel "with huge task at hand for the Afghan security forces, especially in the light of the draw-down plan of western forces," New Delhi has a role to play in training.

Karzai visit, comes just days after the assassination of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was heading the peace process in the war-torn country.

Karzai will deliver a lecture on India-Afghan ties on Wednesday. Singh will host a dinner for Karzai on Tuesday night.

"President Karzai's visit, his second to India this year and PM's landmark visit to Kabul in May 2011, carries forward the high-level engagement between the two countries,” the external affairs ministry said.