India, Afghanistan to discuss terror, intelligence-sharing




By IANS,

New Delhi: Building upon their landmark strategic pact, India and Afghanistan will Tuesday hold the maiden meeting of their newly-minted partnership council and explore ways of bolstering intelligence sharing system in the wake of recent serial terror strikes in the violence-afflicted country.

Krishna will hold wide-ranging talks with his Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rassoul, who began his three-day visit to India Monday amid the volatile situation in his country.

The two ministers will co-chair the India-Afghanistan Partnership Council set up under the landmark strategic partnership agreement concluded between New Delhi and Kabul during the visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai here in October last year.

"The inaugural session of the partnership council will be preceded by a meeting of the joint working group on political and security consultations headed by foreign secretary and the deputy foreign minister of Afghanistan," the external affairs ministry said here ahead of the talks.

Rassoul is also expected to call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.

In the delegation-level talks between the two foreign ministers, the two sides are expected to focus on intelligence-sharing in real time to prevent the kind of terror and mayhem unleashed by Taliban terrorists April 15.

Although the Indian embassy and its missions were not attacked in the terror spree, India is concerned about the deteriorating security in Afghanistan. Against this backdrop, Krishna is expected to take up anew the issue of security concerns of nearly 4,000 Indians living in that country and the security of its missions and facilities.