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Afghan army chief in India

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The Chief of General Staff of Afghan National Army, General Quadam Shah Shahim meeting the Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh, in New Delhi on Monday. A PIB photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): Afghanistan's army chief Gen Quadam Shah Shahim on Monday arrived in New Delhi on a four-day visit during which he will seek to enhance bilateral defence ties besides acquiring more military equipment from India.

The Indian Army in a statement said his visit comes "against the backdrop of enhanced military and defence cooperation" between the two countries.

Gen Shahim called on his Indian counterpart Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag and is scheduled to meet other service chiefs, visit the Indian Military Academy where he will interact with 135 Afghan cadets undergoing pre-commission training, among other military institutions in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has set aside the Indian policy of not providing military equipment to the war-torn country for fear of provoking Pakistan.

India had in December last year supplied four Mi-25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan.

It is expected that Gen Shahim is likely to seek more Mi-25 helicopters, small choppers and other equipment.

India trains nearly 800 Afghan soldiers in different defence establishments every year. The US, which is on a troop drawdown from Afghanistan, has been nudging New Delhi to step up its military assistance to Kabul.

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