AK Antony, the Indian Defense Minister, assured on Monday that his country would provide all the military assistance to Afghanistan that it committed to provide when the two nations signed a strategic partnership pact on October 4, 2011. The strategic partnership agreement that President Karzai signed with Indian PM Manmohan Singh upon a visi to Delhi in the fall of 2011 was one of the first of many big steps Afghanistan has taken recently in becoming a closer ally to India. The warming alliance between India and Afghanistan, codified in agreements like the strategic partnership, is considered especially important by many geopolitical analysts in light of the growing tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, India's longtime rival in the region. The strategic partnership, not to be confused with the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) that Afghanistan signed with the United States in 2012, entails an institutional framework for cooperation between the two countries that is largely focused on assistance from India to its war-torn fellow south-Asian nation. Along with commitments to help Afghanistan develop in the fields of education and infrastructure, the partnership also entails military support from India in the form of capacity building and equipment for the Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan National Army (ANA). Mr. Antony told the Indian Parliament that India will provide military assistance according to the Afghan forces' needs. Gen. Zahir Azimi, spokesman of the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD), said that the Afghan-Indo military relation is stronger than ever before. Referring to the recent statements of the Indian Defense Minister, Gen. Azimi said, "India's military cooperation is part of the Afghan-Indian strategic partnership agreement. The cooperation is increasing everyday and I can frankly say that there is no obstacle standing in the way." However, a number of Afghan security experts believe that India's role in Afghanistan will irritate Pakistan, and there is a chance increased Afghan-Indo cooperation, particularly of a military bent, could cause relations with Islamabad to deteriorate further. The Afghan government has accused Pakistan of supporting Taliban insurgents responsible for violence in Afghanistan since 2001. "Pakistan is afraid of being isolated and it will use any available tools to bring pressure on Afghanistan and the international community by continuing war in Afghanistan and sabotaging the Afghan peace process," Helalludin Helal, an Afghan security expert, told TOLOnews. During his most recent visit to India, President Karzai delivered a list of equipment needs of the Afghan forces. The Indian media outlets reportedly said that the list comprised requests for 105 mm howitzers, Antonov An-32 aircrafts and transport vehicles for the Afghan National Army (ANA). Although it is clear from Mr. Antony's statements that India is committed to supporting Afghanistan in a military capacity, it is unclear what exactly the nature, extent and conditionality of that support will be. India Reaffirms Commitment to Assist Afghan Forces ================================================================================================================ Indian government seems to be flip-flopping on this issue. Only time will tell if something concrete comes out.