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NEW DELHI — Afghanistan on Tuesday signed a strategic partnership with India - its first such agreement with any country - recognizing a regional ally largely sidelined during a decade of U.S.-led international efforts to root out terrorists on Afghan soil.

While the pact had been expected, its timing sparked speculation of a shift in regional alignments after Afghan President Hamid Karzai chastised neighboring Pakistan for failing to act against Taliban-led insurgents based within its borders.

After meeting Tuesday, Mr. Karzai and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke about the need for regional peace and prosperity, saying their countries envision a shared future free of extremism and violence.