Friday, 18 April 2014

Indian Army commanders to meet to discuss Afghanistan

Outgoing army chief General Bikram Singh will take stock of impact drawdown of Allied forces from Afghanistan and possible measures to counter threat arising from that country with his top commanders during Army Commanders Conference, scheduled to begin from next Monday in New Delhi.

Defence minister AK Antony, who has the distinction of being the longest-serving defence minister of the country, will also address the top commanders for the last time in UPA-II government.
According to army, the security as well as intelligence agencies are keeping a close watch on the developments in trouble-torn fragile Afghanistan. And especially after pullout of US led allied forces from there by the end of 2014.

"Various operational and strategic issues will be discussed during the five-day-long conference. Developments in neighboring countries especially Afghanistan will also be part of the discussion,"said an officer.

Keeping in view of drawdown of US-led forces from Afghanistan in 2014, Indian Army is also providing training to Afghanistan National Army (ANA). According to to army, Army is targeting to train about 1100 Afghan troops by the end of 2014, as compared to 574 personnel training in last year. Though New Delhi has not decided on the request of Afghanistan government to provide them lethal weapons, but they are considering an option send first batch of Indian experts and officers to Afghanistan to give training to ANA in their backyard and their home conditions. Training in their locations and terrain would given them an edge as compared to training here in Indian conditions.

Five day Army Commanders Conference, beginning from April 21, will also discuss security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the issue of incursions by Chinese troops in Indian territory.

The issue of incursion by the Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control is expected to come up for discussion, Army officials said.

The Indian side will also discuss the issues to be raised by the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) during the delegation-level parleys with his Chinese counterpart starting April 23.

The LAC has seen several incidents of face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops and the two sides have signed a border pact recently to avoid the possibility of a flare-up between their troops while carrying out patrolling.

Meanwhile, the meeting is also expected to take up the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the expected rise in infiltration and activities by terrorists in the coming months.

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