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Gen. Nicholson backs Delhi-Kabul military cooperation

Gen. Nicholson backs Delhi-Kabul military cooperation

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Aug 11, 2016 - 12:07

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A top US military commander has hailed India’s cooperation with Afghan security forces, urging New Delhi to deliver more combat helicopters to Kabul.

During a visit to Delhi, the Resolute Support commander told an Indian newspaper: “I know that they [Afghan authorities] have requested more. There is an immediate need for more. If they get these helicopters, they will get into the fight soon.”

General John Nicholson hoped the tremendous cooperation India had made in the human capital of Afghan forces in terms of training would prove enduring. He said the Afghan military needed more aircraft.

The Hindu newspaperquoted as saying: “The Afghan Air Force needs to expand. We are concerned about making it sustainable, so that they can maintain the aircraft, get their parts in time, etc.”

Nicholson, who met senior officialsincluding national security adviser AjitDoval, commended India’s contributions to boosting the capabilities of the Afghan Air Force by supplying Mi-25 gunships.

In late December 2015, Delhi delivered 3 Mi-25 gunship helicopters to the Afghan Air Force. Kabul has acknowledged the choppers’ effectiveness in providing air support to Afghan forces.

Nicholson alleged the Afghan Talibaninfo-icon had safe havens in Pakistaninfo-icon and that the US had asked it to rein in the terror networks on its soil. The US was trying to build a “counter-terrorism platform”to crack down on all terror groups in the region.

Praising India’s contribution to restoring peace and stability in Afghanistaninfo-icon, he said terror groups like the Haqqani networkinfo-icon, LeT and JeM posed a threat to Afghanistan and the region.

About 300 Islamic State (Daesh)militants had been eliminated during an operation in eastern Afghanistan two weeks ago, a severe blow to the group, the commander said.

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