18:59 GMT26 July 2021
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    Fighting between Afghanistan forces and the Taliban* has intensified in the past few weeks since foreign troops have begun to withdraw from the country. No ceasefire has been announced on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, signifying that the fierce fighting will continue as the Taliban keeps taking hold of large swathes of land.

    As fighting with the Taliban has continued to escalate, Afghanistan is looking for military assistance from India to fight the terrorists who continue to claim control of key border posts and cities in the war-torn nation. 

    Newly-appointed Afghan Army Chief General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai is scheduled to meet top security officials in India, including Indian Army Chief General M.M. Naravane and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on a visit next week. 

    What's On Agenda

    The supply of equipment and military platforms from India will be on top of the agenda of the Afghanistan Army chief during his talks with the country's top brass, said Indian defence officials. 

    India has supplied as many as seven helicopters to Afghanistan over the past several years. These include Mi-24 attack helicopters and Cheetal choppers. 

    India has also been training Afghan cadets at military academies in the country. Defence sources said that Afghanistan has presented a "wish list" to India that consists of offensive military hardware, including artillery guns, tanks and armoured vehicles, and discussions will be held about this list.

    India's Footprint And Concerns in Afghanistan

    India has invested heavily in infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, spending nearly $3 billion building roads, a critical dam and the Parliament building in the country, which was inaugurated in 2015. Major symbols of Indian assets include the 218-km road between Delaram and Zaranj, and Salma Dam, also known as the India-Afghanistan friendship dam. 

    India has shown a keen interest in protecting the national assets of Afghanistan amid reports that Pakistan has collaborated with the Taliban to target Indian assets in Afghanistan during the ongoing conflict. 

    After the conflict intensified and fierce fighting ensued in Afghanistan, Indian staff for the Consulate in Kandahar were evacuated and brought back home on 11 July. 

    Afghanistan's deputy minister of acquisition and technical planning was also set to visit India from 11 July to 16 July but his visit has been rescheduled with no new dates decided so far, defence officials said. 

    *The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia.


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