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No reply yet from India to lethal arms plea: MoD

No reply yet from India to lethal arms plea: MoD

Jul 06, 2013 - 17:23

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): India has not yet given any formal response to Afghanistaninfo-icon’s request for the supply of lethal weapons, the Afghan Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Saturday.

The explanation came after Indian Externalinfo-icon Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said New Delhi was neither in a position nor ready to grant Kabul’s request for the supply of lethal weapons.

President Hamid Karzai raised the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a visit to New Delhi weeks ago.

Afghanistan’s National Security Council and the Karzai government would officially react to any Indian response, MoD spokesman Gen. Zahir Azim told Pajhwok Afghan News.

In an interview published on Friday, the Indian minister said: "We are going to help (Kabul) with non-lethal equipment but I don't think we are either in the position or willing to contribute lethal weapons right now."

India was already supplying Afghanistan important elements of supporting equipment, which included helicopters, Khurshid told a Singapore-based newspaper.

“We think it is not advisable to go beyond that. It is a fragile area, there are stakeholders; there are other people. We don't want to become part of the problem."

On his return from India in May, Karzai said he had given “a wish list” of military equipment to India, bud did not say what was on the list.

India and Afghanistan signed in 2011 a strategic partnership agreement, committing New Delhi to training and equipping Afghan security forces.

India has trained Afghan personnel in its military academies, but has provided little military equipment, according to officials.

Political analyst Mohammad Hassan Haqyar said it was clear India would not give Afghanistan lethal weapons due to America’s opposition to such supplies. He believed India would act on Afghanistan’s request after consulting the US.




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