Afghan Army Officers Visit Alma Mater - The New Indian Express

Afghan Army Officers Visit Alma Mater

Published: 14th December 2013 10:38 AM

Last Updated: 14th December 2013 10:38 AM

A total of 16 Afghan Army officers from the Cold War era to the present are in India to visit their alma mater, the Dehradun-based Indian Military Academy (IMA), in a major defence diplomacy bid by the Indian defence forces ahead of the US drawdown from Afghanistan next year.

The spouses and children of these 16 Afghan Army officers are accompanying them on this week-long trip, which began on December 10, Indian Army officers said here on Friday.

These officers, some of who are key political figures in Afghanistan today, got their basic one-year military training at the IMA between 1974 and 1982, all during the peak of the Cold War, when the US and the erstwhile USSR could not see eye to eye and were trying to outmanoeuvre each other in the region, including in Afghanistan.

India is the second largest military trainer for the Afghan National Army, with nearly 50 gentlemen cadets passing out of the IMA on Saturday.

Defence Minister A K Antony, in the presence of Army chief General Bikram Singh, will be the reviewing officer at the parade.

Between 1974 and 1982, 37 Afghans attended the IMA as cadets. Subsequently, the IMA training for Afghan officers were suspended after they trained for three years at the National Defence Academy at Khadakvasla near Pune.

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