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SOURCE: INDIA TODAY

Afghan Army Chief General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai is scheduled to visit India from July 27 to July 29, as per sources. He will interact with top security officials including the Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane. He is also expected to meet National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Ahmadzai’s visit to India comes against the backdrop of an ongoing conflict between the Taliban and Afghan forces in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s deputy minister of acquisition and technical planning was also scheduled to visit India from July 11 and 16. However, his trip was rescheduled. “The visit is likely to happen later but the dates have not been fixed yet,” said an official.

LIKELY DISCUSSIONS
The supply of military platforms and equipment to Afghanistan as part of military assistance from India is likely to be a point of discussion during Ahmadzai’s visit, an official said.

Over the last few years, India has supplied seven helicopters to Afghanistan. While four of them are Mi24 attack helicopters, the other three are Cheetal helicopters. Additionally, India has been training Afghan cadets at military academies.

Earlier, Afghanistan had given a wishlist to India which consisted of offensive military hardware including artillery guns, tanks and armoured vehicles.

India has invested three billion US dollars in infrastructure projects in Afghanistan over the years. This includes the building of roads, a critical dam and the parliament building of the country.

APPOINTMENT OF GEN. AHMADZAI

A month ago, the previous army chief in Afghanistan was removed by the government after casualties from the Afghan forces’ side rose and the Taliban expanded its control over several provinces. General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai was appointed then.

Apart from the army chief, the defence and interior ministers in Afghanistan were also replaced.

ONGOING CONFLICT IN AFGHANISTAN

Clashes between the Taliban and Aghan forces in Afghanistan have intensified after US forces began withdrawing from the region and handed over military bases to the Afghans. Over the last few months, the Taliban has been expanding its influence in the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, reports about Pakistan’s collaboration with the Taliban to target Indian assets in Afghanistan have emerged.

In light of the intensified conflict, Indian staff from the Counsulate in Kandahar were evacuated and brought back to India on July 11. Intelligence reports suggest that the threat to the Indian Counsulates in Kandahar and Mazar-e-Shairf has increased.