Shortly before the withdrawal process begins and amidst recent happenings in the country that demonstrate clear deterioration of security situation, afghan minister of defense is on a three-day trip to India. The visit is aimed at discussing bilateral ties and cooperation on security. Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak met his Indian counterpart on Wednesday to explore ways to improve security in Afghanistan and in the region. India pledged to help strengthen the capabilities of Afghanistan's security forces.
Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony "conveyed the government of India's willingness to work with the Afghan government in building the capabilities of Afghan security forces," a statement said. Defense Minister Wardak told reporters in New Delhi, "We will welcome any cooperation in the field of training and helping of Afghan national security forces so that they are able to secure and defend the country". The visit comes two weeks later than Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh's second trip to Afghanistan. During his visit to Kabul, Mr. Sing held meeting with President Hamid Karzai and exchanged views on bilateral relations, war on terror, security situation in Afghanistan and in the region and made a historical speech at the afghan parliament.
A decade after the counterterrorism mission began in Afghanistan, India's role in fight against terrorism and the country's assistance for the post-Taliban Afghanistan remains substantial. Thus, Afghan officials believe that these trips will pave the way for further enhancement of mutual ties between the two countries, hopefully leading to a more stable and peaceful region if accompanied by other states' productive engagement. Following burning questions on India-Pakistan competitive role in Afghanistan, Indians have bluntly supported stability and development in Afghanistan which will extremely help stabilizing the region. Analysts believe that, based on the long running rivalry between the two South Asian nations, Islamabad suspiciously watches new developments in Afghanistan-India relations. The two countries have regularly expressed fear on the second party's role in the post-Taliban Afghanistan. However, afghan government has frequently assured them of Afghanistan's friendly approach towards the neighboring and regional countries. It has demonstrated the need for regional and global cooperation on the counterterrorism mission.
No need to say, Afghanistan has been and will surely be a bad victim for the strategic rivalries if it continues serving as chessboard for global and regional competitions. But the only appropriate choice left for all parties to advance trust and cooperation is to aptly recognize further devastating consequences of the covert warfare. Looking at the common interests they share, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan can establish further cooperative ties to overcome the dreadful distrust to get rid of the dominant scourge of terrorism. The safe havens for Al Qaeda and its associate groups in the Pakistani region of tribal belt remain a great matter of concern for the regional countries. Regional countries and the international community have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to curb militancy there to help achieve peace and stability in the region. By establishing a line of cooperation, the three nations can immediately triumph over challenges. Here, India's role, as that of Pakistan, remains vital to win the war and build a peaceful, promising future. Afghanistan needs to optimize cooperative relation with the regional countries, avoiding any irrational enmity to one and amity with the other.