Afghan President Hamid Karzai says his country's strategic partnership signed with India is not meant as an aggressive move against Pakistan.
Karzai said in a speech in New Delhi that the agreement simply puts an official stamp on the years of close ties between India and Afghanistan's post-Taliban government.
"The strategic partnership is not meant to be against any country," he said Wednesday, in a clear reference to Pakistan. "This is for Afghans to benefit from the strength of India."
The pact signed Tuesday is Afghanistan's first with any country. Its timing sparked speculation of a shift in regional alignments after Karzai chastised Pakistan for failing to act against Taliban-led insurgents based in Pakistan.
India and Pakistan see one another as their chief adversaries.