Regional Tensions Frame Karzai’s India Visit

Posted October 4th, 2011 at 8:35 am (UTC-5)
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in India for a two-day visit that is expected to strengthen the two countries' economic and security ties.

Mr. Karzai and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are scheduled to meet in New Delhi later Tuesday. In addition to economic deals, the two leaders are expected to sign an agreement that calls for India to increase its training of Afghan security forces.

President Karzai's trip to India, Pakistan's traditional foe, comes as regional tensions are on the rise.

Both Indian and Afghan authorities have accused Pakistan of creating unrest in Afghanistan, a charge that Pakistan denies.

On Monday, Mr. Karzai again accused Pakistan of playing a “double game” in dealing with extremists. Afghanistan's intelligence agency says it has evidence that last month's killing of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani was planned in Pakistan.

India also accuses Pakistan of plotting attacks on Indian targets within Afghanistan, including two bomb attacks on its embassy in 2008 and 2009.

The United States has accused Pakistan of having “links” with the Haqqani network, an al-Qaida-affiliated Afghan militant group, which Washington says has safe havens in Pakistan's North Waziristan region.

Last month, the outgoing chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of the ISI, Pakistan's main intelligence agency.