India conveys concern over jehadi nursery near Pak-Afghan border

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New Delhi, Apr 8 (UNI) India today conveyed its serious concern to Kabul over the ''prevailing instability'' on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, often being referred to as the ''epicentre of terrorism'' and jehadi nursery, defence sources said.

The concern was conveyed during a meeting between Defence Minister A K Antony and his Afghanistan counterpart Abdul Rahim Wardak here this afternoon.

At a memorial lecture here last month, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan had expressed serious concern over the terror activities being carried out at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

''One of the greatest dangers faced by India was from the terror camps being run on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border by the Al Qaeda and the remnants of the Taliban. The border is the epicentre of terrorism and jehadi nursery. India has every reason to be concerned and worried over the existence of such terror training camps there,'' he had said.

The two sides also discussed ways to strengthen the bilateral relations, the sources said.

Mr Wardak arrived here on Sunday at the head of a seven-member high-powered delegation on its week-long visit to India for talks with the Defence Minister and other leaders besides the top brass of the armed forces.

On his part, the visiting Afghanistan Minister of National Defence sought more medical assistance from India.

He urged the Indian government to dispatch more medicines and equipment to war-torn Afghanistan.

Mr Wardak also demanded enhanced and extensive training for Afghanistan troops and officers.

At the meeting, the sources said the two sides shared their perceptions about the situation in Afghanistan as well as the immediate neighbourhood, particularly Pakistan.

Tomorrow, Mr Wardak will visit border areas and the Army establishments in Jammu and Kashmir, becoming the first Afghanistan Defence Minister to tour the troubled state in three decades.

In Kashmir, he would visit the headquarters of the Srinagar-based XV Corps, also known as Chinar Corps and get a brief on counter- insurgency operations there. In Jammu, he would visit the headquarters of XVI Corps at Nagrota.

Mr Wardak will also visit the IAF's Training Command as well as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited complex in Bangalore. He would be shown the progress made by India in manufacturing its first Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Advance Light Helicopter 'Dhruv'.

Reports have suggested that Afghanistan might be considering sending its air force pilots for training to India.

India's involvement in rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan has been extensive and contributed to the tune of more than 700 million dollars for various initiatives.

''Our commitment in Afghanistan is towards a return to stable conditions, accompanied by economic progress. We are involved in as many as 60 projects across the country ranging from infrastructure to the social sector,'' Mr Narayanan had said.

UNI AG RR HS1840

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