Herat: Expressing his profound gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to the “compassionate people and competent Government of India”, President Dr. Ashraf Ghani said, today, with your help, an old dream of our people (Afghan-India Friendship Dam, earlier Salma Dam) is realised after 40 years of waiting.
Thanking security forces, President Ghani “prays for souls of soldiers and engineers who lost their lives during the construction of the dam”, reported TOLO News, Afghanistan’s news television network. The President also thanked India for completing the Salma Dam and praises security forces for ensuring security.
“Afghanistan and India have long and continued relations, and today millions of ties bind our nations together,” he said, while speaking at the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Hall here. “Herat is the cradle of culture, knowledge, wisdom and civilisation. And, the assistance of people and Government of India in constructing this splendid dam restitutes the ancient ties of Herat and India,” President Ghani noted.
We can partake in spreading hope, light and sincerity, not fear, intimidation and ignorance. We are immensely thankful to India for presenting a new model whose essence is constructiveness, cooperation and participation. Today the name of India in our country and region brings back sweet, historic and cherished memories,” said President Ghani before inaugurating the dam.
“Today our people know India through Salma, a source of light and joy for 1000s of our families. In addition, India has completed over 200 other small and big projects for our people. With scholarship assistance by India, over 17,000 Afghan youth were able to acquire education,” he added.
Today, India represents brilliance, greenery and Nirvana, he said. “With the inauguration of the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, the first generation of large Indian assisted projects is completed. Our hope is to see at the right moment the launch of the 2nd generation of such large and sustainable projects,” he said.
“We, the two sides, have a firm conviction and resolve that prosperity and progress of one country means that of the other. Afghanistan will not be stopped here. We are determined to move forward despite the challenges and difficulties. With the passing of each day, we take a new step in the direction of development and prosperity,” he said, adding that he wants to give the good news to his people that the Afghan-India Friendship Dam is prologue to construction of many dams.