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India cites hurdles in supplying arms to Afghanistan

India cannot transfer third country's weapons without prior approval.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published: August 26, 2013 1:38:42 am

India has conveyed to Afghanistan that Delhi finds it difficult to supply weapons to Kabul since it is bound by conditions set by suppliers,sources told The Indian Express. It also cited availability issues in the process of supplying arms to Kabul.

India rejects Afghan arms plea

These reasons were put forward by Indian officials to Afghan officials accompanying visiting Vice-President of Afghanistan Karimi Khalili last week. India procures majority of its arms from manufacturers and signs an end-user condition. According to government sources,India cannot transfer weapons of the supplier country to a third country without its approval. This,sources said,constraints Delhi’s hand in giving out weapons to a friendly country like Afghanistan.

‘From instability to opportunity’

Apart from that,Delhi finds itself in the middle of a demand-supply constraint,as it deals with shortage of sophisticated weaponry.

During Khalili’s visit,there were reportedly informal consultations on the Afghan request. Afghan President Hamid Karzai had reportedly made the request in May this year,when he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Delhi,mindful of concerns from Pakistan,is not too enthusiastic to give weapons to Afghanistan.

It has,however,been training Afghan army personnel and police officials in Indian academies and is planning to give vehicles and choppers as logistic support. The Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) with Afghanistan signed on October 4,2011 in New Delhi provides for security cooperation between the two countries under which India agrees to train Afghan security forces.

‘Terror cannot impact Delhi’s Afghan effort’

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh has conveyed to the Afghan leadership that terror attacks cannot impact New Delhi’s strong determination to assist Kabul in reconstruction and development efforts. According to official sources,the Foreign Secretary travelled to Afghanistan from August 23-25 during which she held talks with her counterpart Ershad Ahmadi.

Singh also called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai,vice-presidents Marshal Fahim and Karim Khalili,and Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasool.

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