- India has handed over a pair of Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan with the aim of strengthening the Afghan air force.
- The Mi-24 is a large helicopter gunship.It can be used for assault and transport missions given that it can ferry up to eight people.
- The handover comes at a particularly crucial time for Afghanistan which has been looking for alternative sources of funds and weapons to sustain its defence forces in the event of a US exit.
- India has pledged and donated more than $3 billion in aid and reconstruction efforts to Afghanistan.
- However,India has been reluctant to send soldiers to reinforce a US-led multinational force.India’s reluctance stems from the fact that its embassy in Afghanistan have been targeted by terrorist groups such as the Haqqani network that are linked to Pakistan-backed Taliban insurgents who are aiming to dislodge Afghan President.
- Further,U.S and Taliban officials had also held several rounds of talks aimed at ensuring a safe exit for U.S. forces in return for a Taliban guarantee that Afghanistan will not be used by militants to threaten the rest of the world.
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