In Major Policy Shift, Afghanistan Sends Army Cadets for Training in Pakistan

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In Major Policy Shift, Afghanistan Sends Army Cadets for Training in Pakistan

6 cadets of the Afghan National Army are in Pakistan for an 18-month long course. (Image Courtesy: Janan Mosazai)


Islamabad: 

For the first time, Pakistan military has begun training personnel of the Afghanistan Army; six cadets of the Afghan National Army are in Islamabad to join the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad for an 18-month long course.

This move indicates a major change in policy for Kabul.

Ironically, Abbottabad is the Pakistani city where Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was found to be hiding, and killed by United States Navy Seals on May 1, 2011.

During President Hamid Karzai's tenure, Afghanistan had refused to send its personnel for training in Pakistan despite repeated invitations by the neighbouring nation.

On the other hand, India has trained a few thousand Afghan security personnel over the last few years.

Nearly 1,100 Afghan military personnel were trained in India in 2014, with 44 officers graduating from the prestigious Indian Military Academy in December. The then Afghan Army Chief (now Defence Minister) General Sher Mohammad Karimi was the Chief Guest at the passing out parade.

Afghanistan's Ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai, in a press statement, said, "The induction of these young Afghan cadets at the Pakistan Military Academy is an important step in both countries' efforts to strengthen, broaden and deepen security and particularly military-to-military relations and cooperation in all areas."

Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has reiterated the nation's invitation for training in several visits to Kabul.

The militaries of Afghanistan and Pakistan have been cooperating in the wake of the attack on a school in Peshawar, which killed over 150 people, mostly children.

Under Afghanistan President Karzai, the two countries had a very prickly relationship, with the Afghan President often publically condemning Pakistan's support for the Afghan Taliban and repeatedly calling for the shutting down of 'safe havens of terror' in that country.



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