Afghanistan unhappy over delay in supply of arms from India

Afghanistan unhappy over delay in supply of arms from India

Afghanistan's new regime has expressed unhappiness over India's delay in supply of military hardware as it grapples with intensified Taliban attacks ahead of the US-led NATO troop drawdown from the war-torn country.

Giving an indication of new government's policy towards India, Advisor to the Afghan President, Daoud Sultanzoy said the relationship between the two countries will be based on "reciprocity" and that New Delhi can play a vital role in ensuring peace in the region.

Asked whether Afghanistan was disappointed over delay in bolstering its military capabilities, he said "Naturally when we look for cooperation with our friends like India and any delay that hampers progress and hampers productivity and economic progress in the country is seen in our eyes as a delay that creates a void. That void gives way to violence and deprivation," he said.

Afghanistan has been trying to revamp its military to fight the resurgent Taliban as NATO forces are due to withdraw from the country by December 31 after 13 years of fighting.
He also indicated that it may have a relook at the "inventory" depending on its needs.
Around 12,000 NATO forces will continue to assist Afghan forces after the troop drawdown.

Sultanzoy who handles foreign policy in the new Afghan establishment, said there may be a re-examination of the defence inventory sought from India by the previous government of President Hamid Karzai.

"Because of change in our leadership, there will be some new evaluation and then after that we will probably have a new inventory of our needs and if India can play continued role, we will welcome it and we will make sure that we take advantage of it," he told PTI in an interview.

Sultanzoy was part of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's delegation who participated at the recent SAARC summit here.

Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit.

Asked about India's role in Afghanistan, Sultanzoy said New Delhi sees a strategic interest in the country and asserted that any change in ties would be for the "better".

"India is not our strategic partner just because of us. India sees its own strategic interest in Afghanistan and we have to reciprocate and see reciprocal advantage in India's friendship and if India can play that reciprocity," he said.

On whether Ghani will protect India's interests in the country, he only said the government will protect everybody's interests as long as Afghanistan's interests are protected.

India has been providing transport, logistical and engineering equipment to Afghanistan and training its security personnel in India.

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