India has announced the launch of Phase-IV of the High Impact Community Development Projects in Afghanistan. It envisages more than 100 projects worth 80 million dollars that India would undertake in Afghanistan. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said this during the 2020 Afghanistan Conference organized in Geneva through video- conference. The two day conference began from yesterday and was co-hosted by the United Nations, the Government of Afghanistan, and the Government of Finland.
Dr Jaishankar also announced that India had just concluded with Afghanistan an agreement for the construction of the Shatoot dam, which would provide safe drinking water to two million residents of Kabul city. He said, India had earlier built the 202-kilometer Phul-e-Khumri transmission line that provided electricity to Kabul city.
In his statement, Dr Jaishankar emphasized India’s long term commitment to the development of Afghanistan and the benefit of it’s people as a contiguous neighbor and strategic partner. He said, India’s development portfolio in Afghanistan has to-date amounted to over 3 billion US dallars. He highlighted that no part of Afghanistan today is untouched by the 400 plus projects that India has undertaken in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces. He said, more than 65 thousand Afghan students have also studied in India.
Dr Jaishankar pointed out that Afghanistan’s growth has been constrained by its land locked geography and highlighted India’s efforts to provide an alternate connectivity through Chabahar port and a dedicated Air Freight Corridor between India and Afghanistan. He said, India’s humanitarian assistance of 75 thousand tonnes of wheat to strengthen food security of Afghanistan during the Covid pandemic has been transported through Chabahar port.
India has invested heavily in peace and development in Afghanistan and believes that the gains of the last two decades must be preserved and the interests of minorities, women and vulnerable sections must be ensured. The EAM expressed concern regarding the increasing level of violence in Afghanistan and reiterated India’s call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.
He said, as an important stakeholder, India looks forward to walk hand in hand with the people of Afghanistan and world community in working towards a peaceful, prosperous, sovereign, democratic and united Afghanistan.
Source: News On Air