India hasn't exactly wanted to advertise its cooperation with the Northern Alliance to avert accusations of interfering in a foreign country. Now, for the record, Northern Alliance's charge d'affairs here, S.S. Ahmedi, confirmed the humanitarian support. "India has been providing food supplies and medicines. But we want to buy arms and ammunition. If any country helps us, we'll welcome that. Like we are buying weapons from Russia." The "humanitarian support" is in the form of an Indian medical team camping in the Tajik town of Farkhor on the Tajik-Afghan border. "There are three doctors and 15 nursing assistants (paramedical staff) deployed in the hospital established two years ago by India," says Dr Ayub, attache in the embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi.
It was on the request of the Masood faction that India established a 20-bed hospital in Farkhor. Equipped with modern surgery facilities, the hospital is meant mainly to treat anti-Taliban fighters. "If the injury is very serious, then we take the injured to some other hospital. But we are happy with the assistance India gives us," says Dr Ayub.