Afghan army chief in India to seek more military aid
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghan and Indian military leaders discussed strengthening military ties between the two countries, an official said on Wednesday.
Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman Gen. Dawlat Waziri told Pajhwok Afghan News Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qadam Shah Shahim along with other military leaders on Tuesday left for India on a four-day visit.
He said Gen. Shahim, who met his Indian counterpart Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag on Tuesday, was expected to meet other Indian military and civil authorities.
Shahim and Suhag talked about strengthening and expanding bilateral military ties between the two countries, according to Waziri.
The two sides would also discuss Afghan soldiers and officers’ training and the delivery of the last remaining helicopter to Afghanistan, he said.
The Indian Army in a statement confirmed the Afghan army chief had arrived in New Delhi, the Indian capital, and called on Gen. Suhag.
Gen. Shahim during the four day visit is scheduled to visit the Indian Military Academy and other military institutions and also to meet Indian officials.
Gen Shahim will seek to enhance bilateral defence ties besides acquiring more military equipment from India.
The Indian Army said Shahim’s visit comes "against the backdrop of enhanced military and defence cooperation" between the two countries.
Gen Shahim will visit the Indian Military Academy where he will interact with 135 Afghan cadets undergoing pre-commission training, among other military institutions in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has set aside the Indian policy of not providing military equipment to the war-torn country for fear of provoking Pakistan.
India had in December last year supplied four Mi25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan.
It is expected that Gen Shahim is likely to seek more Mi-25 helicopters, small choppers and other equipment.
India trains nearly 800 Afghan soldiers in different defence establishments every year. The US, which is on a troop drawdown from Afghanistan, has been nudging New Delhi to step up its military assistance to Kabul.
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