Karzai to hold talks with PM during India visit from December 13

Last Updated: Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 19:29

New Delhi: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai will arrive here on December 13 and will hold extensive talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh amid indications that India was not averse to the Afghan leader`s demand for greater military support to fill the vacuum created by withdrawal of Western forces by next year.
During his three-day visit, Karzai, who will be here on an invitation of a private university in Pune, will meet Singh in Delhi and is expected to brief him on the current security situation in his country.

Significantly, Karzai in his last meeting with Singh had sought greater military and civilian support to fill the vacuum created by the withdrawal of Western forces, a demand which is being considered by the government here.

The issue is expected to figure again during the talks between Singh and Karzai.

According to officials here, "the demand was being considered taking into account various factors including two major issues - our ability to supply based on our surpluses and licensing from other countries; e.g.- if India is to supply a Russian-tank, it would require the permission and license from Russia to do so."

India already has an extensive, USD two billion cooperation programme with Afghanistan and has supported road-building and the establishment of hospitals. It also trains Afghan police and army officers at military colleges in India.

Other key issues expected to figure during the talks would include proposed Afghan-US security pact which Karzai has refused to ink demanding that the US must put an immediate end to military raids on Afghan homes and demonstrate its commitment to peace talks before he would sign the agreement.

Security of Indian nationals and other interests will also be discussed during the meeting in Delhi before Karzai goes to Pune to attend the Symbiosis University event.

President Karzai will be visiting India in connection with an invitation with education organisation, Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said, adding the last time also when he was invited by a private university, the Afghan President, who is a honoured guest, also met all sections of leadership.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 19:29

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