Karzai lauds Indias role in rebuilding Afghanistan

Written by fe Bureau | Pune | Updated: Dec 16 2013, 10:10am hrs
The $2 billion that India has provided to Afghanistan was quality money and every dollar was spent on projects of significance, Afghan president Hamid Karzai said on Sunday.

The assistance is valued and in real terms it was much beyond $ 2 billion, the president said.

Give me another 10 years and we will be three times better and in another 20 years, Afghanistan would have stabilized to take care of itself, Karzai said, hoping Indian would remain committed. Karzai was delivering the keynote address at the conference on 'India and Development Partnerships in Asia and Africa: Towards a New Paradigm' organized by the Symbiosis Institute of International Studies in Pune along with the Public Diplomacy Division of the ministry of external affairs.

Afghanistan wants to be a more well-off society, more educated and more connected to the world and is seeking support from India for raising Afghanistans capacity.

The president said India was taking in 1,000 students a year and they were seeing an impact in Afghanistan because of the 30 years lost in turmoil. Each student returning brought in improvement in services, the president said. There were 10,000 students from Afghanistan all over India and Pune alone had 4,000 students.

Karzai said Afghanistan and India were the most natural partners in facilitating the flow of trade not only between the two countries but also through the two countries to Central Asia, West Asia and East beyond India.

India and Afghanistan had signed the strategic partnership agreement as both countries had shared interests, opportunities as well as data as both countries were fighting radicals to make civilian population safe from attacks.

The president said Afghanistan was working on all means to help in the Chabahar port in Iran, which would open up India to West Asia as well as give access to Afghanistan.