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Afghanistan wants India to broaden cooperation

Afghanistan invited India to broaden its engagement in that country.

New Delhi: Afghanistan on Tuesday invited India
to broaden its engagement in that country, including in
enhancing the capabilities of its security forces, but made it
clear that it would resist attempt by anybody to undermine the
destiny of its people, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta
candidly acknowledged that his country, which is struggling to
end cross-border terrorism, would have to "seek cooperation
and collaboration" of Pakistan Army which is a "very special
institution" in Pakistan.

Spanta, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and NSA
Shivshankar Menon, appreciated India`s gesture of undertaking
a number of projects like construction of strategically
important Zaranj-Delaram highway, Parliament building and an
electricity transmission line.

Such projects, he said, are "future-oriented" for
sustainable development of Afghanistan.

"We will like to see India engage in more in these fields
because this is fundamental for future of Afghanistan," he
told a select group of journalists, adding he had conveyed
this to India during his meetings here.

Asked whether Afghanistan would want India to train
Afghan National Army, Spanta responded, "we would like to have
broad and extended cooperation with India for stability and
reconstruction and also enhancing Afghan security

When referred to the recent meeting between President
Hamid Karzai and Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani,
the NSA said Afghanistan will have to talk to "Pakistani
brothers to find a solution terrorism. We will continue that
till there is concrete result."

Questioned over the need to talk to the Army Chief when a
civilian government was in place in Islamabad, Spanta said,
"We all know Pakistan army has relevance, place in daily lives
and politics of Pakistan. This is not reality of today, this
is case of 60-65 years."

He said Afghan government has good relations with the
civilian dispensation in Islamabad "but because Army is a very
special institution in Pakistan, so our civilian leader
President Karzai has to talk to this institution to seek
cooperation and collaboration of Pakistan army."

Though Spanta did not elaborate, Afghan government is
aware that Army wields the real power in Pakistan and is
responsible for terrorism in Afghanistan through its support
to radical jehadi groups.

Afghanistan is clear that the nine-year-old war against
terrorism would not succeed till the safe havens and
sanctuaries in Pakistan are not targeted and has conveyed this
to the US.


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