Afghan President Hamid Karzai today expressed satisfaction over India's response to his demand for stepping up military aid, saying the "facts" on such supplies were much better than "what is known" amidst indication that the government was considering the request.
In an interaction with media here, Karzai said a host of crucial issues including supply of military equipment by India, Afghanistan's conditions in signing bilateral security pact (BSA) with the US ahead of withdrawal of NATO forces and the peace process were discussed extensively during his talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday.
The Afghan President, on a four-day visit here, said he was "satisfied" with the discussions on training as well as supply of military equipment from India to his country to strengthen the security forces of Afghanistan. The discussions were "very productive and resulted in satisfaction for the Afghan side," he said refusing to elaborate further.
Asked specifically about whether New Delhi was reluctant about supply of military hardware to Afghanistan, he said India has been "conducting itself very wisely" and at the same time was not "shying away" from assisting his country. "India is also not shying away from providing assistance to Afghanistan and I can tell you that in terms of India's support to Afghanistan in military equipment and training the the facts are lot better then what you hear in the press," he said.
"India wants to help us...India wants to have a region free of tension and that's exactly what Afghanistan wants. I have satisfaction over the outcome (of the meeting with Singh). said.
Karzai had meetings with top leadership here including Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
When pressed further on the issue of supply of military equipment by India, he only said, "As far as military hardware is concerned, Afghanistan needs them and India and other countries are helping."
Talking about the Afghan-US Bilateral Security Agreement, Karzai said he had a detailed discussions with Singh about Afghanistan's position on the issue and the Indian Prime Minister understood it. "I informed the the Prime Minister the view of Afghanistan in this (BSA) regard. I was happy to see that India understands Afghanistan's need for the BSA and also India understood why Afghanistan was taking some very cautious steps towards signing this agreement," Karzai said.