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Indian equipment for Afghan army

In the wake of deteriorating security situation there, non-lethal equipment worth $3 mn is given to Afghanistan.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 11:10 IST

As the security situation deteriorates in Afghanistan with a rise in Taliban-instigated violence, India has given non-lethal military equipment worth $3 million to shore up the Afghan National Army (ANA).

Indian ambassador Rakesh Sood handed over the equipment to Afghan Defence Minister General (Retd) Abdul Rahim Wardak at the Logistics Depot of ANA in the Afghan capital earlier this month.

The goods donated by India included 2,500 bullet-proof jackets, 2,500 bullet-proof helmets, 150 bullet-proof observation towers (machan), 1,000 sets of Laser Aim Points and 15,000 units of spool plastic with punched tape.

Other non-lethal items included wire cutters, mine detectors, magnetic and non-magnetic long prodders.

While handing them over, the Indian envoy underlined "historically close and friendly ties between India and Afghanistan" and elaborated on the wide-ranging and extensive nature of New Delhi's aid to Afghanistan in areas as diverse as building roads, schools and hospitals.

Gen Wardak thanked India for the much-needed military equipment and stressed on enduring relations between the two countries.

India has pledged $650 million for the socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and has helped with training for Afghan Army officers.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has discussed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the resurgence of the Taliban and the threat it poses to the security and stability of his country.

This has been the most violent year in Afghanistan since the US ousted the Taliban government in 2001, killing over 4,000 people.

At present, 21 ANA officers are attending various training programmes in India. In 2007, 49 more officers will be trained.

As part of military assistance to Afghanistan worth around $10 million, India had earlier provided 300 vehicles, 25 tonnes of winter clothing, 277 packages of medicines as well as musical instruments.