India announces 100 new projects in Afghanistan; overall development portfolio exceeds $3 billion

    25-Nov-2020
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-Ganesh Puthur
 

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Indian on Tuesday announced 100 news community projects in Afghanistan worth 80 million USD (Rs 592 crore) as India rolls out the fourth phase of development activities in the war-torn nation. With this, India’s development portfolio in Afghanistan has exceeded $3 billion (Rs22,000 crore). The announcement was made by the Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar during his virtual address at a global conference on Afghanistan.
 
“India’s development portfolio in Afghanistan has to-date amounted to over USD 3 billion. The minister 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. More than 65,000 Afghan students have also studied in India," said the MEA in a press release.
 
S Jaishankar, in his address, asked for an immediate ceasefire between the Afghan government and terrorist organisations. He again reaffirmed India’s stand that the peace process should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled. He also highlighted India’s commitment to the development of Afghanistan and called the nation India’s strategic partner.
 
“The external affairs minister (EAM) announced at the conference that India had just concluded with Afghanistan an agreement for the construction of the Shatoot dam, which would provide safe drinking water to 2 million residents of Kabul city," said the MEA release. India had earlier transported 75,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar port as a relief for the nation ravaged by Covid-19 crisis.
 
India is closely observing the Afghan government- the Taliban peace process. There is a possibility of the Taliban coming back to power in Afghanistan. In that scenario, ISI and the Pakistan Army might use the terrorists to up its ‘terror-export’ to Kashmir.