Afghan Defence Minister in Kashmir


Srinagar, India : Afghanistan’s Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, currently on a week-long visit to India, Friday visited disputed Kashmir province to witness Indian counter militancy operations.

Support TwoCircles

Upon his arrival in Srinagar, the minister accompanied by a six- member delegation, was briefed by top military commanders at Badamibagh here.

Badamibagh is the headquarters of Indian army’s 15th Corps, engaged in fighting Muslim militants for past 19 years.

Minister Wardak was given a presentation on the way Indian army conducts its anti-militancy operations, official sources said.

Around sixty to seventy thousand people have been killed in the militant struggle for an independent Kashmir.

Indian officials say militancy has been largely contained and a near normal situation prevails in Kashmir now.

They are expecting biggest ever rush of tourists in years to scenic Kashmir this year.

Wardak’s visit to Kashmir, first by an Afghan Minister in 3 decades, is loaded with lot of symbolism, observers here say.

The very fact that the Afghan defence minister is being taken to Kashmir indicates the significance of the visit and the underlying message that will go across to Pakistan.

Indian troops have been fighting Kashmiri militants for last 19 years.

Many of the militant groups were backed by Pakistan and some of them with links to Taliban.

However, there has been no evidence of Taliban or al-Qaeda militants’ presence in Kashmir.