New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that Afghanistan is succeeding against huge challenges and people in India admire the courage and resolve of the Afghan people to seek a future of peace and prosperity.
The Prime Minister was addressing a joint press briefing with Afghan President President Ashraf Ghani after discussing what he described as “historic efforts to rebuild his nation.
Modi said: the relationship between India and Afghanistan is not just between two countries or governments. It is a timeless link of human hearts. We deeply value the friendship and the goodwill of the Afghan people. Every Indian, in turn, holds the Afghan people in the highest affection and esteem. This is why we stand with the people of Afghanistan, as they build a united, stable, democratic and prosperous nation.”
The Prime Minister reiterated India’s resolve to continue this journey in partnership with President Ghani and his National Unity Government with Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
Modi said in categorical terms that India has shared interest in the success of an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process.” This should be conducted within the framework of the Constitution of Afghanistan, without the shadow of violence. It should reinforce the political, economic and social progress of the last fourteen years. And, it should protect the rights and aspirations of all sections of the society, including Afghan women.
Focusing attention to terrorism, Modi emphasised that India shares Afghanistan’s pain over persisting terrorism and extremist violence that destroy lives and derail progress.
President Ghani shared his impressive vision for Afghanistan’s prosperity, based on its talent, resources and location. We believe that Afghanistan’s direct surface link to India and the rest of South Asia could turn Afghanistan into a hub that connects Asia’s diverse regions and beyond.
The main thrust of the Indo-Afghan joint statement is as follows:
We are ready to welcome Afghan trucks at the ICP Attari. We are also prepared to join the successor agreement to Afghan Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement. This will re-establish one of the oldest trading routes of South Asia. I also reaffirmed my commitment to take the Chahbahar Port project in Iran forward. We will also quickly conclude a bilateral Motor Vehicles Agreement.
We will expand our development partnership, which includes infrastructure, agriculture, connectivity, human resource development, community projects and humanitarian assistance. We will explore new trade and investment opportunities.
Afghan children have a special focus in our efforts. Today, I conveyed fresh support for Habibia School in Kabul, the Indira Gandhi Child Health Care Hospital and Red Crescent Society Fund for treatment of children with congenital heart disease.
We are prepared to continue our support for capacity building of Afghan security forces. I am pleased that we have delivered three Cheetal Helicopters to Afghanistan, which will add to the growing capabilities of the valiant Afghan Forces.