With the US planning to withdraw its troops by next year,Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is learnt to have urged India on Friday to step up military aid to Afghanistan,including lethal and non-lethal weapons.
Karzai,who is here on a four-day official visit,had meetings with top leadership here including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,whom he briefed on the situation in Afghanistan. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid also called on the visiting dignitary.
During the meeting with Karzai,Singh raised the issue of Afghan-US Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) wherein America is hoping for Karzai to sign a deal allowing US troops to stay on post-2014. The Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said,Yes,BSA was discussed because we feel our destinies are intertwined. Both India and Afghanistan see the BSA as important for the stability and security of Afghanistan.
Noting that Indias approach to Afghanistan has never been prescriptive,intrusive or judgemental,he said,This is the paradigm to which we will approach the matter (of BSA).
We are confident that President Karzai is a sagacious and wise leader and he will do what is best for the people of Afghanistan. As a close friend of Afghanistan and in accordance with Indias approach towards Afghanistan,we will support it, the MEA spokesperson said.