India and Afghanistan will discuss prospects of enhancing Delhi’s role in training Afghan security forces and sign four pacts in diverse areas, including mines and fertilisers, during Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s visit to the country later this week.
Karzai, who will begin his tour from Mumbai, will interact with the business community there and seek greater investment in his country in various sectors.
Afghan Ambassador Shaida Mohammad Abdali said, Karzai will be visiting India at “a critical time” as international combat troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Karzai will hold wide-ranging talks in New Delhi Nov 12.
The two leaders will discuss a range of strategic issue and all areas of mutual interest, said the Afghan envoy.
He also said the visit will seek to intensify strategic dialogue between India and Afghanistan on bilateral and regional issues. He indicated that the two sides will be looking to step up Indian training for Afghan national security forces.
Having committed a USD 2.3 billion aid program, India is one of the largest donors to Afghanistan, investing in the economy, humanitarian aid, education, development, construction and electrical projects.
Besides India is emerging as a key ally as the US prepares to draw down in Afghanistan. Washington’s reservations about allowing India a role there, fed mainly during the years Pervez Musharraf ruled Pakistan, have been largely removed.
This explains the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) that President Hamid Karzai signed with India last year, even before he signed one with the US.