Conflict & Justice

India, Afghanistan strengthen ties post-Osama

On his first visit to Kabul in six years, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh upgraded New Delhi's relationship with Kabul to a strategic partnership, but the joint statement given with Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai was careful to claim that the alliance was not directed against any particular country, the Hindustan Times reports.

In reality, of course, there's hardly any other reason to form a strategic partnership, and, at least from India's perspective, this one is clearly intended to counter Pakistan's influence.

How else can one read this part of the joint declaration, knowing that New Delhi is convinced that most, if not all, of India's 50 most wanted are residing in Pakistan?:

"The two sides also agreed that an important part of their Strategic Partnership would be cooperation in the area of security, law enforcement and justice, including an enhanced focus on cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, organised crime, and illegal trafficking in narcotics, and money-laundering," the declaration said.

In one of his speeches, Singh also called for a "thorough investigation" into Osama bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, the Indian Express adds. As expected, Singh announced a fresh commitment of $500 million for Afghanistan’s development, adding to the existing $ 1.5 billion.