Afghan Army chief to visit India next week amid deteriorating security situation

Afghan Army Chief General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai is set to visit India next week between June 27-29 and is expected to hold discussions with top security officials in India, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane, media reports says

Jul 20, 2021
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Afghan-India

Afghan Army Chief General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai is set to visit India next week between June 27-29 and is expected to hold discussions with top security officials in India, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane, media reports says.

The visit, which analysts see as strategically significant in the current situation, may be used by New Delhi to ramp up its military assistance to the embattled Afghan National Defense and Security Forces which has been struggling to hold ground amid foreign troops withdrawal and a sustained Taliban offensive.  

According to a report in India Today,  Afghanistan’s deputy minister of acquisition and technical planning was also scheduled to visit India from July 11 and 16. However, the visit was rescheduled. “The visit is likely to happen later but the dates have not been fixed yet,” the report quoted an official as saying.

New Delhi has so far kept its military assistance very limited--to a few attack helicopters--and has also been training Afghan military officials. However, its policy could potentially undergo a change in the coming weeks when the foreign troops their presence in the war-torn country. 

Earlier, during the visit of NSA Ajit Doval to Kabul,  the Afghan government had given a wishlist to India which consisted of offensive military hardware including artillery guns, tanks, and armored vehicles.

New Delhi has in the last two decades has invested $3 billion in infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, covering all of its 34 provinces. The growing Taliban influence and instability could pose challenges to the India-built and aided infrastructure. 

Salma Dam in the western city of Herat and the parliament building in Kabul are some of the most remarkable major projects undertaken by India. According to media reports, insurgents have been attacking Salam Dam, later known as India-Afghanistan Friendship Dam, in the last few weeks. 

(SAM)