India Offers $1 Billion Aid To Afghanistan To Fight Terrorism

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New Delhi: Terrorism originating from Pakistan was the key area of discussion between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani during their meeting in Delhi on Wednesday, their eighth one-on-one dialogue in two years.

The two leaders deliberated on putting an end to all form of terrorism emanating from Pakistan by strengthening defence ties between the nations. India also offered $1 billion developmental assistance to Afghanistan for its capacity building and infrastructural development.

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“Forty years of violence would have broken any other country,” Ghani said in a speech to India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, a government-funded think tank. He declared he was “delighted” with Modi’s aid pledge, Reuters reported.

He emphasized on the need to build market institutions in the war-torn nation where 70 percent of people live on less than $2 a day.

The issue of terrorism originating from Pakistan was the central concern of both the leaders. In a bid to fight this wave of terror, the Modi government signed three pacts with Afghanistan. These cover a legal assistance mechanism, use of outer space and an extradition treaty.

A joint statement issued by the two nations stressed on the necessity to fight continued use of terrorism and violence solely for meeting political objectives. The statement was clearly a veiled reference to Pakistan.

The issue of strengthening connectivity between the two nations through the Chabahar port was another point of discussion.This is particularly important because Pakistan has denied transit rights to Afghanistan for importing Indian goods. India even reached out to Pakistan on the issue, but the latter did not respond to the request.

The leaders also agreed that the Strategic Partnership Council headed by foreign ministers of both the countries should meet more often.

Modi offered to provide Afghanistan with 1.75 lakh tones of wheat, superior quality and affordable medicines and cooperation in solar energy through mutual agreements.

The European Union and Afghanistan will host a donor conference on 5 October in Brussels to be attended by 70 states and 30 international organisations and agencies. The goal is to seek backing for reforms to stabilise and develop the central Asian country, reported Reuters.

 

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