ISLAMABAD : Indian war veterans and strategic analysts have said India should supply heavy military equipment to the Afghan armed forces, including tanks and field artillery.
In an Op-Ed published in New Indian Express newspaper, Maj. Gen. (Retd) G D Bakhshi, said ” Rapidly do capacity building of the Afghan army, so that it has a military edge over the Taliban and can defend its territory against Pakistan’s incursions.”
The Retired Indian Army General further added that India should “Complete the Chabahar-Zaranj-Delaram road and beltway via Iran. Till then, supply tanks, artillery guns, attack helicopters and trainer jets via Russia.”
“Once the Chabahar beltway opens up, it can supply large numbers of T-54/T-55 tanks and 105 mm field guns lying in our depot stocks and salvage yards,” Gen. Bakhshi added.
The Op-Ed by Gen. Bakhshi was published days after a bloody clash erupted among the Afghan and Pakistani forces in Torkham over the construction of border gate by the Pakistani forces.
Harshly criticizing the Pakistani step to seal the Durand Line which has not been accepted as formal border line by Afghanistan, Gen. Bakhshi raised the issue of the Afghan militant groups sanctuaries in Pakistan, including the Taliban group leadership.
Pakistan insists that the step to construct gates along the crossings and fencing the Durand Line is an attempt by the country’s security forces to prevent the movement of the terrorists.
However, the Afghan officials insist on a regional fight against the terrorist groups, including the steps to be taken against the leadership councils of the Taliban and Haqqani Network.
This is not the first time that voices have been raised in India of equipping Afghan Army. In the Afghanistan - India strategic Partnership agreement of 2011, equipping and training of Afghan National Security Forces ANSF was included.
The supply of 4 Military Attack Mi -25 Helicopters from India to Afghanistan is the manifestation of the same ideology which is being developed in the Indian Military and Strategic circles.
India has already helped Afghanistan in acquiring 10,000 Ak-47 Assault Rifles Kalashankovs from Russia in order to boost the ANSF counter insurgency capability.
India is already training over 1000 officers of ANSF annually in the Indian Military and Intelligence Academies and and now the strategists are convincing the government that time is ripe for equipping the Indian trained Afghan Army officers against Pakistan on the western front.
The recent incidence at Torkham border over the dispute of constructing gate within Pakistan's own territory depicts the changing mindset of the Indian trained Afghan Army officers who resorted to brutal firing at Pakistan Army at the borders.
India feeling frustrated after being left out from the Quadrilateral Contact Group ( QCG ) and Afghanistan being frustrated after losing over 5,000 Afghan Army soldiers at the hands of Afghan Taliban in a single year are resorting to such acts of desperation in order to hide their failures.
Strategic analysts in Pakistan are observing the National Directorate of Security NDS and Indian Research and Analysis Wing RAW collaboration now transforming into an open military alliance in the name of countering terrorism in the region.