India will be supplying four Mi-35 attack helicopters to Afghanistan to fight against the Pakistan-backed Taliban. India has decided to help the war-torn nation to carry out its operations against Taliban by enhancing its military capabilities, reported The Statesman, citing Afghan diplomatic sources. India is expected to directly purchase these Russian-made helicopters from Belarus. It would have taken a long time to procure the choppers if it were to place an order for their supplies.
Afghanistan, Belarus and India inked a trilateral pact for the refurbished Mi-24 helicopters in March, Afghan ambassador Shaida Abdali said in an interview to Hindustan Times. India had supplied four Mi-35 attack helicopters to Afghanistan in 2015-16 for strengthening the Afghan forces.
According to sources, the decision to supply four more four more helicopters to Afghanistan was taken after the US and other key Western powers pushed India to play a pro-active role in bringing stability in Afghanistan. Around 1,000 Afghan soldiers are already getting trained in Indian Defence institutions.
Afghanistan forces are mostly using Russian weapons. As Indian is also using Russian weapons, so United States has requested India to assist Afghanistan Air Force in combating terrorism. India and Afghanistan also propose to hold the next meeting of the strategic council between them in Kabul to consider ways to enhance the fighting ability of the Afghan forces, reported The Statesman. The last meeting was held in New Delhi last year. The US also has started implementing its four-year defence plan in Afghanistan as a result of this the strength of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) will be increased three-fold.
The air corridor established last year between India and Afghanistan to avoid the problems being created by Pakistan for trade between has helped the two nations in increasing trade and commercial links, whereas trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan has decreased considerably.