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Karzai arrives in India; to seek military aid

May 20, 2013 23:13 IST

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai arrived in the country on Monday on a three-day visit during which he will seek increased military aid from India and discuss recent cross-border clashes with Pakistan.

"We will ask for assistance for the strengthening of our security forces," Karzai's spokesman had said in a briefing on Saturday in Kabul ahead of the trip.

Karzai, who arrived in Punjab on the first leg of his tour of the country, was conferred an honorary doctorate degree by President Pranab Mukherjee at a professional university in Phagwara.

Afghanistan and India had signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2011 that included military training of Afghan security forces.

Apart from extensive developmental assistance programme, which now stands at around $2 billion, India also provides training in capacity building to 2,000 Afghans every year.

Terming Afghanistan as a "strategically important" neighbour, a spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said the two countries had mechanisms available to address all issues under Strategic Partnership Agreement.

"Our view is that there is a mechanism available, and all issues are discussed under this mechanism. And within our own modest means as a developing country, we will continue to discuss and respond to specific requests of the Afghan government," he said.

Image: Mohammed Ismail/Reuters

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