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Indian Army chief to visit US, will discuss Af-Pak policy

india Updated: Jul 16, 2009 19:23 IST
Indian Army chief to visit US

With India-US bilateral relations growing strategically in the light of the civil nuclear deal, Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor will visit the US and hold discussions about the Af-Pak policy and regional security situation.

Underscoring India's role in the strife-torn Afghanistan-Pakistan region, Kapoor will hold parleys on the issue with senior US military and defence officials. He will begin his five-day visit July 20.

"The US is definitely interested in benefiting from India's expertise in the region (Afghanistan-Pakistan). The army chief will be interacting with the senior military and defence hierarchy to discuss the Af-Pak policy and the regional security situation," a senior Indian Army official said, requesting anonymity.

The army chief's visit comes when US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will be in India.

With elections slated in Afghanistan Aug 20, the US would like to take lessons from the peaceful Lok Sabha elections held in India in April-May, the largest electoral exercise in the world.

Though India has kept itself away from any direct military involvement in Afghanistan, it has been playing a significant role in the rebuilding and reconstruction of the war-ravaged country. The Afghan army chief also paid a visit to India earlier this month.

Kapoor will meet chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, chief of staff US Army and Commander US CENTCOM, among others.

"He will also hold discussions on the Indo-US defence cooperation to include joint training and exercises, exchanges and military equipment cooperation," the official added.

The army chief will also visit important training institutions and operational headquarters to get a glimpse of the organisation, doctrinal concepts and training facilities for operational deployment of the US Army in a global framework.