Karzai’s Shopping Visit
During his recent visit to India, Afghan President Hamid Karzai held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh where the two discussed the deepening political situation in the region. The focus of the talks was on U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. Karzai was keenly interested to enhance defence cooperation with India and receive a supply of lethal and non-lethal weapons, which India is ready to supply.
In addition, the Indian government bestowed the Afghan president with a Doctorate Honoris Causa. Analysts suggest that the visit will build close relations between the two countries and help fortify bilateral ties and resolve regional issues.
Afghanistan and India are strategically important neighbors with the ability to address all issues under the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which they signed in 2011. According to the Afghan government, mechanisms are available to resolve key issues and diplomatic channels will also come into play to bring the two countries closer.
During Karzai’s visit, India offered more aid to Afghanistan in the wake of U.S. troops’ withdrawal next year. According to an official statement, India is prepared to increase bilateral relations and will help Afghanistan strengthen its military and security institutions. This is not the first time that India will provide military training assistance to Afghanistan as it has been doing so since 2011 under the SPA.