Why Did Afghanistan Suspend Request for Heavy Weaponry from India?

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by Neo, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why Did Afghanistan Just Suspend a Request for Heavy Weaponry from India?


    A little noticed report in the Afghan press earlier this week confirms that the Afghan government has suspended a request made for heavy weaponry from India. The request, which was originally made by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s predecessor Hamid Karzai during a trip to New Delhi, requested heavy artillery and other weaponry from India. The request was initially rejected but later revisited by the Indian government. A report in Afghanistan’s ToLo News confirms, based on Afghan government sources, that the request for heavy weaponry has been suspended.

    Why the sudden change? Well, there are a variety of explanations. The first, and the least convincing, comes straight from within the Afghan government. Mohammad Mohaqeq, a staffer working for Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s chief executive officer, notes that ”If president the has rejected this, there is the possibility that he has thought of another place to confidently get these arms from.” The bid for Indian weaponry was one of the more public requests by the Afghan government and there have been no similar requests in the works for months now.

    “I believe that the president would have a trip to India and he will not contradict all the works of the former president, we need the equipment and should get it from anywhere,” Mohaqeq adds. Relations between Afghanistan and India haven’t declined either.

    The best explanation is probably that Afghanistan rescinded the request for heavy weaponry from New Delhi amid what appears to be a slow and steady process of rapprochement with Islamabad. Pakistan has made clear its interest in seeing India and Afghanistan keeping at an arm’s length. Earlier this week, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz recommended that “external actors” following a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal matters, warning against attempts to wage a proxy war. Similarly, both Afghanistan and Pakistan are looking at expanding their cooperation on counter-terrorism amid efforts by the central government in both countries to assert control over various militant groups.

    For instance, six of the perpetrators of December’s horrific attack against a school in Peshawar were apprehended on Afghan soil. Though these men were initially questioned by Afghan authorities, Pakistani authorities were reportedly in touch with the Afghan government seeing as how Mullah Fazlullah, the mastermind behind the attack, is suspected to be hiding on Afghan soil. Given the growing importance of counter-terrorism to both these countries, improving relations, at least in the short-term, is an area of common interest.

    Historically, however, Pakistan’s military-intelligence community has seen Afghanistan as nothing more than a buffer state. To this end, Pakistan has been held responsible for bolstering the Afghan Taliban and undermining the ability of the central government in Kabul to govern Afghanistan’s borderlands effectively.

    The Ghani government’s decision to suspend the request for heavy weaponry from India, however, doesn’t signal a major realignment in South Asia. Pakistan, although an important factor in Afghan foreign policy, can hardly offer the same sort of long-term financial support and international political ballast as India can for Afghanistan.

    http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/why-d...ampaign=buffer
     
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  3. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Why Did Afghanistan Just Suspend a Request for Heavy Weaponry from

    MInistry of External Affairs India - Media Briefing

    Transcript of Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson (February 13, 2015)

    Question:Afghanistan ke President ki Bharat Yatra ke baare me koi abhi vichar ho raha hai kya? Aisi bhi kuch soochnayein aa rahi hain ki Afghanistan ne Bharat ke saath ek bada Arms sauda cancel kar diya hai, to kya iss baare me aapko lagta hai ki Afghanistan Bharat ki bajay China aur Pakistan ko jyada preference de raha hai?

    (Is there any news about the upcoming visit of President of Afghanistan? There are some news that Afghanistan has cancelled a big arms deal with India, so do you think that instead of India, Afghanistan is preferring China and Pakistan?)

    Official Spokesperson: When Prime minister and President Ashraf Ghani met at the Kathmandu summit of the SAARC, Prime Minister did invite President Ashraf Ghani to visit India at an early date. We are right now, working on modalities for that date. I can assure you that it is our intention that President Ghani visits India at an early date. We are interested in that. President Ghani is interested in that. As there is a proverb in Hindi –jab do taraf razi hain to kya krega koi aur.

    Official Spokesperson: India desires a stable, peaceful and independent Afghanistan. To that end, we have a strategic partnership with Afghanistan. Integral to that strategic partnership with Afghanistan is cooperation in the defence sector. That cooperation, the way its proceeds, is based on requests from Afghanistan and our own ability to meet those requests in a manner which we can sustain. That’s where we are. Now you are saying that there were requests, you are saying those requests are withdrawn. I am not aware of those. But I would like to give you the framework of our equation with Afghanistan. We desire a peaceful, stable and independent Afghanistan. Our cooperation in defense is geared towards that.

    Transcript of Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson (February 13, 2015)

    Such cancellation of deals is a Media Speculation!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  4. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Link not working.

    Another rant from someone's rear. Must have been a Pakistani who need plenty of help these days to feel good and assume Afghanistan has suddenly become Pakistan's well wisher.

    People who are aware of the outlook of Indian diplomacy and the basic doctrine we follow (which many of us don't like) there has been always an effort to keep things happen below certain threshold.

    I always say that it is not India's style to think and work like rouge nations. Pakistan's biggest nightmare is India using hammer and anvil doctrine. But with changing world the doctrine remains valid but the way it will be implemented is not going to be simplistic or old fashioned like Pakistanis think.

    BTW, I just love the fact when Pakistani's started enjoying the strategic depth in Afghanistan they lost so bad that now they are struggling; writing feel good propaganda that may be Afghanistan is now their best friend. What a relegation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
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  5. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    There are and will be many political and diplomatic reasons discussed in this thread.

    Main reason - who is going to pay for $200 million worth of arms and after that recurring cost of repairs, maintenance, upgrade, ammunition and whatever else comes with it. Afghans had no money. Karzai previously thought that India will gift it free as a price of keeping Pakistani Army pinned down at Durrand Line. The new Afghan president has other ideas. He wants peace with Pakistan and so does Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban has really given them a strong headache. They are operating from Afghanistan. If Pakistan turns off the training and arms tap to the most dreaded terrorists which operate from Pakistan then Afghanistan is willing to listen. In the process that net Indian military hardware goes to waste without a purpose.

    Hence India is unwilling to let this aid go to waste. Before India could delay the arms shipment, Afghanis new president took the initiate and withdrew the offer to take Indian arms. Let us see, is there anybody else offering them arms. Not likely. Wait and see, who knows they may be back with the request.
     
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  6. datguy79

    datguy79 Regular Member

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    Main reason is that Ashraf Ghani has the brain capacity of lab mice.

    Anyhow, India wasn't going to give us any earth-shattering weaponry (not that there is a government in New Delhi with the balls to transport it across Pakistan). The only thing we really needed was artillery, and the Indians don't have enough of that to protect their own borders.

    The US is providing weaponized version of MD 530 and Super Tucanos, so we will be fine.
     
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  7. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thats the words from spokesperson. The fact is not about India..the fact is about Afghan able to defend herself..So naturally if US provides the weaponary that would be good.

    Then again..India provides arms to Afghan from Russia.
    Thats what I heard.

    The power struggle will come clear in a few weeks time.
     
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  8. karn

    karn Regular Member

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    If India sends any weapons to Afghanistan they will go via Iran . In any case I heard of India sending 122 mm artillery guns to Iran where they are refurbished and sent to the ANA . So technically Ghani is right that India will not send heavy weapons ..but that is just a rumor.
    Is the ANA looking at more ambulance helicopters ?Last time I checked there was a shortage...
     
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  9. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Transporting weapons across Pakistan is not a difficult task at all. Who said we cannot take special permission from Oman and Iran and fly them via Gujarat? Pakistan has no control there and therefore we can transport it with ease.

    The point is, like you said, artillery production has only now come to the notice of our new government and only now have we slowly started moving towards indigenous production of weapons (Congress years were all imports for fat pay commissions for Congressi politicians all these years, while the forces got shitty equipment).

    What we can provide immediately is something you don't require. For example, Vietnam has asked for warships that can be armed with BrahMos. We already have multiple production facilities for warship development and BrahMos missiles. You don't need either of these at this point (I read somewhere that a single BrahMos costs more than 2 lamborghinis).

    It was a good decision to retract the request as we won't have been able to supply the weapons on time.
     
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  10. datguy79

    datguy79 Regular Member

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    Yes, the lack of MEDEVAC contributes to some of the casualties of the ANA. We need all the air support we can get.
     
  11. grampiguy

    grampiguy Regular Member

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    This entire issue has several geopolitical holes in it. First, India has heaps of 105mm IFG/LFG guns as well as 122mm arty guns, which it could easily supply through Chabahar-Zaranj Highway. Iran has never sought to hinder it. Trucks, other equipment could also go through the same route. They can even be air-supplied through Iranian air space. Problem is that first Manmohan Singh sat on the request thinking he will not like to lose the opportunity to visit Gah, Pakistan by accepting Afghan request. He was too Pak-sensitive. By the time Modi came and understood everything, Karzai was gone and elections were in a stalemate in Afghanistan. Now, Ghani is trying to backtrack and bring a balance in India - Pak - Afghanistan relations, by introducing China and even Russia. Which I wouldn't say is bad, in a way, its a good news.

    It is only Afghans who can solve their own problem so its better to let them decide what they want and what they don't. NO matter how many times Obama grovels, India would never send a single troop in Afghanistan, that's clear to everyone by now. If Ghani doesn't want India to play any significant role in Afghanistan, its time for India to reduce its role and focus more on Iran-Caspian Sea-Central Asia route for trade and energy links. NO point in having so many civilian/police people there especially ITBP, BRO, RITES and other people who have suffered abduction, killing etc -- a bit too much involvement, at a very high personal risk. India has been trying to help Afghanistan but it has generated opinion that India is trying to balance Pakistan through Afghanistan. This perception can be broken only through minimal India role there. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it was never a significant problem for India, nor it ever will.
     
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