The Indian Army is to provide basic training to officers and men of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in India. This training is expected to begin by August and will be conducted at various regimental training centers of the Indian Army, according to sources in the Indian Ministry of Defense.
The first batch of ANA personnel will consist of 25 officers and 30 Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR). Their training will also include certain specialized modules, especially in Counter Insurgency (COIN) warfare.
While ANA personnel have attended courses at Indian military training establishments before, this is the first time basic training is being provided to them. And while the first batch consists of 55 ANA personnel, it is unclear whether this number is likely to go up later and would depend on requests from the ANA, available vacancies in regimental training centers and Indian government policy.
This comes after US Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked the Indian National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore earlier this month to help provide training to the ANA.This is also said to have been discussed in meetings between the ANA chief General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and the Indian Army and the Ministry of Defense during his visit to New Delhi last July. India has so far been non-committal about sending training personnel to Afghanistan for this purpose, especially in light of the recurring attacks on Indian government officials and installations in Afghanistan, coupled with opposition from Pakistan to such an Indian presence there.