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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Afghanistan, India sign security accord

NEW DELHI: India and Afghanistan signed a security pact here on Tuesday after assessments by both that they were targets of the ubiquitous Haqqani group of the Taliban network increasingly accused of being a cat’s paw for Pakistan’s military.

The pact, they said, was not directed against any country or group of countries and it follows announcement in Islamabad that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan.

It was officially stated that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Singh held “detailed and frank discussions”, including on the issue of terrorism, after which Dr Singh said the people of Afghanistan “deserve to live in peace and decide their future themselves without outside interference, coercion and intimidation”.

Afghanistan and senior US officials have accused the ISI of helping the Pakistan-based Haqqani group, a charge Islamabad has strenuously denied.

Significantly for President Karzai’s visit to New Delhi the national security advisers in Delhi and Kabul hold a similar view.

WikiLeaks documents published by Dawn recently revealed former US ambassador to India Timothy Roemer as quoting India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon about his Haqqani worry.

“India endured serial bombing attacks throughout 2008, two attacks on its embassy in Kabul — one he (Menon) attributed to the Haqqani network and the other to Lashkar-e-Taiba — and then the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai…

“Menon lamented that Pakistan had shown itself to be unable or unwilling to wean itself off from terror as an instrument of state policy,” Mr Roemer said.

An official document on Tuesday said the strategic dialogue between Delhi and Kabul would provide a framework for cooperation in the area of national security. The two sides said the dialogue would be led by the NSAs and involve regular consultations with the aim of intensifying mutual efforts towards strengthening regional peace and security.

Security cooperation between the two sides is intended to help enhance their respective and mutual efforts in the fight against international terrorism, organised crime, illegal trafficking in narcotics and money laundering.Read mroe at

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