New Delhi: India and the US discussed on Thursday the security situation in Afghanistan, economic assistance and reconstruction programmes besides insurgent violence by groups such as the Haqqani network, a person close to the development said.
A visiting US delegation included representatives of the departments of defence, state and the National Security Council. The talks came ahead of Sunday’s meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and its allies in Chicago to discuss the security situation in the war-torn country with a resurgent Taliban battling US-led troops.
“The forthcoming Nato summit in Chicago” was also discussed, said the person, who did not wish to be named. India will not be taking part in the Chicago meeting as it does not have troops on the ground in Afghanistan, which New Delhi considers part of its extended neighbourhood.
India has plans to train and equip Afghan security personnel set to take over security duties from US-led troops who have announced plans to leave the country as early as next year. In addition to Afghan army personnel, India will also train police personnel as per the terms of a strategic partnership pact the two signed in October last year. According to the Nato website, Afghanistan was looking at having a 171,000-strong army and 134,000 police personnel by October 2011.
India is also planning to give three helicopters to Afghan security forces next year. India has so far pledged $2 billion dollars in aid and reconstruction to Afghanistan and is also planning to host a regional investors’ meeting in New Delhi in June. Attracting investments to the war-torn country is a part of plans drawn up by the international community to stabilize Afghanistan, where US-led international troops are struggling to contain the Taliban, whose top leadership was ousted from Kabul in 2001.