India will pay for Russian arms to be supplied to Afghanistan

The Indian financing for Afghanistan will largely focus on artillery guns, air support in the form of choppers and even armoured vehicles, including tanks. Source: ITAR-TASS

The Indian financing for Afghanistan will largely focus on artillery guns, air support in the form of choppers and even armoured vehicles, including tanks. Source: ITAR-TASS

The Indian financing for Afghanistan will largely focus on artillery guns, air support in the form of choppers and even armoured vehicles, including tanks.

In keeping with its policy to support a democratically elected government in Afghanistan, India will pay for Russian arms to be supplied to the country, the Indian Express said on Friday. The agreement was finalised after an Indian team went to Moscow in February, the paper said.

The first order under the deal is already being executed, the paper said, citing sources. Afghanistan, which is strongly allied with India, has been requesting the support of New Delhi for years. The idea of supplying arms to the country was highly debated by the Indian Government’s Cabinet Committee on Security, the paper said, adding that there were two conclusions: India would not send troops to the country and India would not provide small arms even though some are manufactured domestically.

The Indian financing for Afghanistan will largely focus on artillery guns, air support in the form of choppers and even armoured vehicles, including tanks, the Indian Express added. The paper added that a range of non-lethal items could also make it to the list depending on the nature of the requirement.

It was announced in December that Russia and India would collaborate to revive an arms-maintenance factory. The hardware maintenance facility was built by the Soviet Union and is near Kabul. Several armaments from the Soviet days are still in the country

Moscow and New Delhi have many common interests in Afghanistan, the most important of which being keeping the Taliban from seizing power in the country. Together with Iran, they propped up the Northern Alliance, which comprised soldiers from mainly non-Pashtun ethnic groups like Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmen and others. It was the Northern Alliance which played a leading role in the ouster of the Taliban in the wake of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Russia also faces the danger of Islamic extremism emanating from Afghanistan which has already had an impact on Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya. Many of these extremists were trained in Afghanistan during the heyday of the Taliban.

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