After Afghanistan publicly raised the demand for lethal weapon supplies, India on Saturday expressed willingness to “discuss and respond” to specific requests, but only through proper channels.
Earlier on Thursday, Afghanistan Ambassador to India Shaida M Abdali had urged for more intense defence ties with India, including supply of lethal and non-lethal military equipment. So far, India has supplied only non-lethal equipment since the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement in 2011.Announcing President Hamid Karzai’s official visit to New Delhi next week, Union External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said at a media briefing that the two countries had mechanisms available to address all issues.
“Our view is that there is a mechanism available, and within our modest means as a developing country, we will continue to discuss and respond to specific requests from the Afghan government,” he said.
“There are diplomatic channels available and we will consider these (requests) as and when they are raised in the channels available,” Akbaruddin added. He noted that the SP pact is implemented by the SPA council, chaired by the foreign ministers.
Under this agreement, there are four rubrics, including those for political and security consultations.