Indo-Afghan set in motion strategic partnership pact

New Delhi: India today assured that its assistance was neither "transitory" nor in "transition" to Afghanistan, which said it was looking forward to increasing training and capacity building of its security forces apart from equipping them with Indian help.

The two countries also set in motion the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, inked last year during Afghan President Hamid Karzai`s visit here, by launching the Partnership Council, co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul.

The Afghan minister also briefed Krishna on the peace process and said "the cooperation partnership is not only good to our two countries but also important for promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region".

"Let me assure you that while it is a time of change and transformation in the region, India`s commitment to Afghanistan is neither `transitory` nor in `transition`," Krishna said at a joint press conference.

Asserting that India would continue to partner the Afghan government to ensure that it is a source of regional stability and does not become a target for extremist forces, Krishna said, "Afghanistan`s defence of its own territory is of extreme importance to us. Our security is entwined with the stability and security of Afghanistan."

Noting that the Council meeting was "also a reflection that India is unwavering in its commitment to assist the people of Afghanistan in their endeavour to build a peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous nation", Krishna also underlined the need for adherence to the `Red Lines` on the reintegration process.

"These red lines for reintegration are crucial in the common endeavour to prevent Afghanistan sliding back to safe haven for terrorists and extremist groups and to preserve the gains made by the international community in past decade," Krishna said.