July 01, 2010 13:59 IST
In a significant policy shift, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai [ Images ] has agreed to send a group of military officers to Pakistan for training, a decision which could raise eyebrows in India [ Images ].
An agreement has been worked out confirmed Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Karzai's national security adviser, who said under it a "limited" number of officers would be sent for the training. The new deal comes on the heels of recent high-level contacts between the two countries.
"The move is a victory for Pakistan, which seeks a major role in Afghanistan as officials in both the countries become increasingly convinced that the United States' war effort there is faltering," The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
"This is meant to demonstrate confidence to Pakistan, in the hope of encouraging them to begin a serious consultation and conversation with us on the issue of the Taliban [ Images ]," Spanta was quoted as saying.
Though the number of Afghan officers is said to be between a handful and a few dozen, but it has enormous symbolic importance as the first tangible outcome of talks between Karzai and Pakistan's military and intelligence chiefs that began in May, the daily said.
"It is likely to be controversial among some Afghans who see Pakistan as a Taliban puppet-master rather than as a cooperative neighbor, and in India, which is wary of Pakistan's intentions in Afghanistan," the Post said.
Some key US officials involved in Afghanistan said they knew nothing of the arrangement. "We are neither aware nor have we been asked to facilitate training of the Afghan officer corps with the Pakistani military," Lt Gen William B Caldwell IV, head of the NATO training command in Afghanistan, said.
Pakistan to train Afghan military officers
Comments by BRAD PITT on Jul 01, 2010 09:28 PM
I feel the biggest blunder that the US made was blindly trusting the Pakistanis. Its pretty clear that they have been taken for a royal ride and made to look like a impotent force that is in no man's land. The war is going nowhere because the Pakistanis are giving covert support to the terrorists and playing a dubious double role. Here in the West, there is silent anger at the audacity with which Pakistan has been playing a double role and made a mockery of the whole game plan. I believe that the whole double game will eventually backfire on Pakistan with passage of time and flare up internal strifes within Pakistan
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