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Subramanian Swamy calls for military offensive against Taliban in Afghanistan

New Delhi, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 16 (ANI): Expressing concern over the disturbing rise of militancy in Afghanistan, Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy has urged India to ink a military pact with Kabul, and deploy its military and air force to thwart the Taliban from capturing power in the strife-ridden region.

"There is, you know, there is no question of India rethinking (over the issue of extremism in Afghanistan). It has no strategy. This is our frontier. The terrorists' frontier is Afghanistan. If you have a presence in Afghanistan, Pakistan can be taken care of. So, what I would suggest is that Karzai (Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai) has been asking for a long time, let India immediately send two divisions of the Indian Army, that is about 40,000 troops and one squadron of the Air Force (to Afghanistan)," Swamy told ANI.

"We must take to battle with the Taliban. The Americans cannot do it. They cannot suffer casualties the way we can. I am in favour of a military pact with Afghanistan immediately," he said.

Highlighting the threat to India's security emanating from Taliban's rise in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Swamy said he would be officially writing a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his suggestions.

"There is no other way, because if Taliban gets Afghanistan, they will get Pakistan. Once they get Pakistan, they will attack here. So, either you attack them now, or they will attack you later. I will write a letter. I have issued a statement already, which he (Manmohan Singh) is bound to see," he added.

India has had good relations with most of the governments that have ruled Afghanistan over the decades with the exception of the Pakistan-backed Taliban who captured Kabul in 1996 and ruled until they were forced from power in late 2001.

Till now, India has given Afghanistan about two billion dollars for projects including roads, power lines and the construction of the Afghan parliament. India is Afghanistan's sixth-largest aid donor, several times more than the estimated $330 million given by Pakistan. (ANI)

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