Afghanistan’s proposed US deal figures in Karzai-PM meeting

New Delhi, Dec 13: Afghanistan’s proposed bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the US figured during visiting Hamid Karzai’s meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday with India maintaining that the accord was important for security and stability of the neighbouring country.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here that the BSA figured during Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s meeting with the prime minister.

“Both see the agreement important for security and stability of Afghanistan,” Akbaruddin said.

He said India’s approach was not “prescriptive, intrusive or judgemental”.

The spokesperson said India was confident Karzai would do what was best for Afghanistan.

The BSA would mandate the size and shape of the US military presence in Afghanistan after the NATO combat mission ends in 2014.

Karzai has refused to sign the BSA unless his conditions are met. They include the release of all Afghan prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and an end to military operations involving Afghan homes.

Karzai, who arrived in India Thursday on a four-day visit, discussed bilateral and regional issues of mutual concern with the prime minister.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid held talks with President Karzai.

Karzai has been invited by the Pune-based Symbiosis University to deliver a lecture Sunday.

In Pune, he will also attend a joint business interaction organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry.