U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is set to meet with Indian officials in New Delhi today (Monday) as the U-S-led military campaign in Afghanistan moves into its fifth week.
Mr. Rumsfeld and Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes are expected to discuss the state of the military campaign, and the hostile atmosphere in the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.
Indian media reports say Mr. Fernandes is also likely to ask for the lifting of sanctions that prevent U-S companies from selling India high-tech weapons systems.
Mr. Rumsfeld's stop in New Delhi is the last on a five-nation tour aimed at bolstering support for the U-S-led campaign against the Taleban and suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan. On Sunday, in Islamabad, Mr. Rumsfeld met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf -- a key ally in the international war on terrorism.
The U-S defense secretary indicated that U-S forces will not stop their bombing for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Mr. Rumsfeld says the United States is aware of Muslim sensitivities but must deal aggressively with the threat posed by terrorist networks.
Secretary Rumsfeld also said Afghanistan's ruling Taleban is no longer functioning as a government after nearly a month of U-S-led air strikes. As a military force, he said the Taleban still has concentrations of power, and it is using that power to impose its will in certain enclaves.