By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Welcoming India’s recent decision on military support to Afghanistan, members of the Wolesi Jirga termed New Delhi’s role in the fight against terrorism vital.
According to Indian media reports, New Delhi is considering purchase of four Russian-made attack helicopters to Afghanistan to help the Afghan government in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
Members of the Wolesi Jirga (MPs) said that India has momentous role in supporting the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in the fight against insurgency.
Dawood Kalakani, an MP from Kabul, said that Afghanistan in the current situation needs military support on urgent basis to fight against the Taliban militants.
He said that the recent commitment of India to strengthen Afghanistan’s air force is a significant step in eradication of terrorism in the country.
“We hope that donation of the four gunship helicopters will not be end of the Indian military support to Afghanistan, but New Delhi will continue to supply heavy weapons to Kabul because terrorism is a serious regional threat,” he said.
Afghan security forces are engaged in fierce fighting against the Taliban insurgents in different parts of the country. The ANSF needs airpower more than ever before. When Taliban took control of Kunduz province, the security forces defeated the militants with the US air support.
The Afghan National Security Adviser (NSA), Hanif Atmar on Sunday left Kabul for New Delhi to discuss details of the possible weapons transfer.
Hinting to the trip of the national security adviser, Spokesman to the NSA, Tawab Ghorzang, told media that Afghan government has much expectation.
The US had important contribution in formation of ANSF in the last 14 years but the American authorities had not provided a credible air force to the war-hit country to uphold the land force in the fight against militants.
Kabul in 2013 demanded military cooperation from New Delhi in order to boost the capability of ANSF against insurgents.
Afghan security officials repeatedly sought gunship helicopters and fighter jets, claiming that Afghan security forces sustain heavy casualties due to lack of airpower.
Hela Ershad, a lawmaker, appreciated the India government for the decision on supply of attack helicopters to Afghan security forces.
In such circumstances when the international community has forgotten to strengthen the Afghan air force, every military aid would be effective for prevention of Afghan army casualties, she underlined.
“India as a strategic partner can play a fundamental role in strengthening the Afghan air force as this country has provided considerable assistance to Afghan government in the area of economy and education,” she said.
Some political analysts believe that the national security adviser’s trip to India for obtaining military equipments is the outcome of strained ties with Islamabad because in the recent months Pakistan did not support the Afghan government in the peace talks with Taliban.