India provides Afghanistan two Mi-24 helicopters, strengthens ties
New Delhi : In a bid to strengthen ties with Afghanistan, the India on Thursday handed over two Mi-24 helicopters to Afghan air force, making them a stronger side for battle against Taliban insurgency.
“These are a replacement for the four attack helicopters previously gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015," said the Indian embassy in Kabul. “The Mi-24 helicopters shall boost the capability of the Afghan air force and enhance the effectiveness of the Afghan National Defence and Security Force in combating the scourge of terrorism," it said.
Indian ambassador to Kabul Vinay Kumar handed over the two helicopters to Afghanistan’s national defence minister Asadullah Khalid at the Kabul Air Force base.
“The helicopters were purchased from Belarus and were handed to the Afghan Air Force in an official ceremony attended by the acting minister of defence Asadullah Khalid, the Indian ambassador, Afghan Air Force commander Abdul Fahim Ramin," said a Twitter post from Khalid’s handle. “Two more of the same type will be purchased and supplied to the Afghan Air Force to make the aerial operations more effective," a second Twitter post from Khalid’s handle said.
The India's move to give two Mi 24 helicopters becomes crucial as the US has moved out of the region and Afghanistan is now looking for an alternative source of funds and weapons to sustain its defence forces.
New Delhi, on the other hand, has donated a fund of more than $3 billion in aid and reconstruction efforts to Afghanistan.