India and Afghanistan sign strategic partnership

India signed a significant partnership pact with Afghanistan on Tuesday, agreeing to step up cooperation in counterterrorism operations, training of security forces and trade in a move that has the potential to antagonize Pakistan at a critical juncture in the Afghanistan war.The agreement, which Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed at the start of a two-day visit to India, also includes measures to boost political and cultural engagement. In addition, India pledged its help in stabilizing Afghanistan as the country battles rising extremist violence and prepares for the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops in 2014.
The pact coincides with a souring of relations between Kabul and Islamabad since Afghan officials bluntly accused Pakistan of supporting recent high-profile attacks in their country. The agreement with Pakistan’s arch-rival in the midst of those recriminations has the potential to further strain relations.

Washington Post

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