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Time-tested friend; India received weapons ‘wish list’: Afghan minister

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hekmat Khalil Karzai, said that Kabul had provided the weapons “wish list” to New Delhi.

He said that Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, has given the ‘wish list’ regarding the provision of military hardware to his counterpart in his recent visit to India.

Khalil Karzai said that Atmar with his counterpart has discussed issues of mutual interest, especially enhancement of defense cooperation between the two countries. According to Indian media, the deputy foreign minister stressed on operationalization of the four years old Strategic Partnership Pace signed by the two countries.

The strategic partnership deal was signed by Afghanistan and India in 2001.

The deputy minister said the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Afghanistan and the two governments are working on it.

“I had a meeting with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, with whom host of issues were discussed. We also spoke on the follow up of His Excellency President of Afghanistan’s visit to India…other bilateral issues were discussed. The most important objective was to work out the modalities of operationalising the strategic partnership with India,” the Hindu, an Indian newspaper, quoted Khalil Karzia.

The Indian government has recently decided to provide four Mi-25 gunship helicopters to Afghanistan to help the Afghan security forces against insurgents.

The Russian-made attack helicopters would start operations with the Afghan Air Force (AAF) within the next two months.

The helicopters would provide close air support to the Afghan security forces who are fighting insurgents on their own after complete security transition in December 2014. The US-led NATO has announced end to its combat mission last year.

Khalil Karzai has confirmed that India would provide four Mi-25 attack helicopters to AAF.