M. Ashraf Haidari, the Director-General of Policy and Strategy of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seems to be happy seeing pomegranates being sold in India and that too at affordable prices. Haidari, on October 18, took to Twitter, posted a picture showing the pomegranates being sold in India, along with the caption, “It’s fantastic to see #PomegranateKabuli on sale for 190 rupees/kg in #India. More is on the way, thanks to @narendramodi @ashrafghani”. Pomegranate production in Afghanistan is a significant contributor to the Afghan agricultural economy. It is a source of a lot of Afgan population living in many areas in the country. Afghanistan is known as ‘the country of the pomegranate fruit’. With the increase in the sale of the fruit in the world market, it is also seen as one of the ways to combat opium production in the country. The ties between India and Afghanistan has always been great when it comes to diplomatic relations. Taking the step forward, recently Afghanistan announced the opening of a consulate in Hyderabad, which will be the third representation of the country in India. Afghan ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali had said that New Delhi will host a major business summit, likely within the next two months, to attract investment from across the globe for the strategic Chabahar port in Iran.
Indian Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar had hit out at Pakistan, accusing it of Indo-Afghan trade via Attari border for ‘political reasons’. In a meeting on ‘Regional Integration and Prosperity’ at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, he has said, “Nations cannot become walls aborting trade and culture that is as old as written history. Fangs of terrorism, recognise no borders, and peace is essential to development; terrorism is anathema to development.” Akbar had added, “The scale of terrorism and violence unleashed against Afghanistan is of a magnitude that simply does not allow for easy project implementation, efficient delivery of assistance or the rapid inflow of investments into an economy that has huge resources and obvious potential.”
India has reportedly offered a special facility at the Attari border for Afghan products coming to India via Pakistan.