Over and above the aid of $750 billion already given for the ongoing projects in Afghanistan, India today (4th July) announced a further aid of $450 billion for forthcoming projects there, after a meeting of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who arrived in New Delhi on the night of 3rd August’08 for a two day visit to India.
With this additional aid, India’s total commitment to Afghanistan stands at $1.2 billion, equal to that of Germany but behind UK, US and European Union.
Singh also informed Karzai that a key infrastructure project India has taken up- a 218km Highway between Zarang to Delaram- has been completed and would be ‘handed over’ to the country soon. Foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to go to Afghanistan to take part in the ‘handing over ceremony’ of the highway build by Boarder Roads Organization (of India).
Afghan president thanked Indian people profusely for the assistance and said, “India has proved to be a valuable ally and is in the forefront of rebuilding Afghanistan at a very critical juncture in the history of Afghanistan”.
The two leaders also reviewed the security arrangements of Indian embassy in Kabul and the consulates in Kandahar, Herat, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif and agreed to upgrade the same in view of the greater threat perception from a resurgent Taliban.
In a statement the visiting President said, “We, the two countries and the world at large has no option but to fight the terrorism. Together India and Afghanistan are facing the challenges of terrorism, cold-blooded, brutal and murderous activities”.