Afghan security adviser meets PM


New Delhi : Against the backdrop of a spike in violence in Afghanistan, the strife-torn country’s National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought closer cooperation with India in combating terrorism.

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Spanta, who touched down here on a day-long secret visit, met Manmohan Singh and updated him on the worsening security situation in his country and ongoing efforts to stabilise the country ahead of the Sep 18 parliamentary polls, said sources.

He also discussed the evolving Afghan situation with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.

The upgradation of security of around 3,500 Indians working in Afghanistan was also discussed, sources said.

This is the second high-level visit by an Afghan functionary in less than a week.

Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul visited India last week. The visit had ended in a joint statement in which both sides reiterated their determination to work closely to deny terrorists and extremist groups, targeting Afghanistan and other countries in the region, safe haven and sanctuaries.

Spanta’s visit to India comes amid a renewed bout of violence in Afghanistan with four American troops killed in a roadside bomb explosion in the troubled nation. The last four days have seen 18 US troops getting killed in an increasingly bloody battle.

In a hard-hitting article in the Washington Post, Spanta, also a former foreign minister, had accused Pakistan of harbouring Al-Qaeda and other associated militant groups targeting Afghanistan.