Fate of 150 soldiers and cadets of the Afghan National Army. undergoing training in India, hangs in the balance amid collapse of the Afghanistan Army and takeover by the Taliban. Sources told News18 that many of the nationals are being trained at the NDA, IMA and OTA.
While the insurgents have given ‘general amnesty’ to all government officials and asked them to join work, the defence forces are vulnerable to revenge attacks. A source said that the Indian government will have to take a call on whether to send them back after training or wait till the situation in Afghanistan becomes stable. Another source said that government is mulling to give them extended visa to stay.
“Apart from the cadets at IMA, OTA and NDA, some Afghan officers and other ranks are also attending specifically-tailored capsule courses for them at different military training establishments in India,” Times of India quoted a source as saying.
The TOI report further said that Apart from supplying military hardware, including four Mi-25 armed helicopters and three light Cheetal choppers, to ANDSF, India has also trained thousands of Afghan military personnel over the years in counter-terrorism operations, military field-craft, signals, intelligence-gathering and information technology, among other fields.
Scores have also undergone the “Young Officers’ course” at the Infantry School in Mhow as well as training at the specialised counter-insurgency and jungle warfare school at Vairengte in Mizoram.
Around 700 to 800 Afghan soldiers per year, on an average, were attending the short-duration “tailor-made” courses for them at the different Indian military establishments for well over a decade now.
The pace of the military collapse in Afghanistan has stunned many foreign observers, forcing the countries to dramatically accelerate efforts to remove personnel from its embassy in Kabul.
The Taliban capitalized on the uncertainty caused by the February 2020 agreement reached in Doha, Qatar, between the militant group and the United States calling for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Some Afghan forces realized they would soon no longer be able to count on American air power and other crucial battlefield support and grew receptive to the Taliban’s approaches.
“Some just wanted the money,” a report in Washington Post quoted an Afghan special forces officer, who first agreed to meet with the Taliban. But others saw the US commitment to a full withdrawal as an “assurance” that the militants would return to power in Afghanistan and wanted to secure their place on the winning side, he said.