Pakistan urges Afghanistan to consider regional implications of arms deal with India

Islamabad, May 25 : The Foreign Office in Pakistan has urged Afghanistan to consider the regional security situation while pursuing an arms purchase deal with India.

At a media briefing on Friday, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jillani said as a sovereign country Afghanistan can pursue its own policies, but it should mind the overall peace and security situation in the region.

According to Dawn News, Jillani was responding to reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai, during a visit to India earlier this week, had asked the Indian leadership to provide arms to Afghan army.

Karzai's wish list is not yet known but, according to media reports, he has sought 105mm artillery, medium-lift aircraft, bridge-laying equipment and trucks.

Kabul made the request under its strategic partnership agreement, signed by the two countries in 2011, with New Delhi, which provides for training of troops and supply of military hardware.

India has already been providing training and small arms to Afghan troops, but has rarely publicly acknowledged it because of regional sensitivities.

According to the report, it was expected that the demand by Afghanistan would cause anxiety in Islamabad, which has always remained opposed to Indian engagement with Afghan security forces.

--ANI (Posted on 26-05-2013)

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