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Afghan, Indian Leaders Discuss Militant Threat


Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on April 26

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on April 26

Indian Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh and visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai have met in New Delhi to explore the issues of regional cooperation and security.

The two leaders emerged with pledges to more effectively combat the threat that militant violence.

India is a major contributor to aid and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, having provided more than $1 billion in assistance since the hard-line Taliban regime was ousted in late 2001.

The talks in the Indian capital come two months after nine Indian nationals were killed in a suicide attack in Kabul that Indian officials blamed on the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT).

Singh today said that and other attacks were "the handiwork of those who do not want to see the emergence of a strong, independent, and pluralistic Afghanistan," according to AFP.

Officials in New Delhi have repeatedly accused Pakistan's military of granting at least tacit support to groups like Lashkar-e Taiba.

Karzai pointed to a peace jirga of tribal leaders, planned for May, as an opportunity for helpful advice on how to reconcile moderate Taliban and other militants.

Indian officials have voiced concern that Pakistan and the Taliban would assume key roles in Afghanistan once foreign troops pull out.
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