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Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai met with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi yesterday.
Mukherjee said “India would stand by the government and the people of Afghanistan in the critical period of transition, development and nation-building.”
“India is proud to partner the Government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts towards reconstruction and development of Afghanistan,” said an official statement from the president’s office.
India already pledged $2 billion in aid to Afghanistan last year.
India has been one of the largest donors to Afghanistan, assisting with its humanitarian needs, energy projects, and even the construction of the parliament building in Kabul.
Karzai asserted that India is among the closest of countries to Afghanistan and according to many surveys the country most liked by the Afghan people.
India and China have, in April this year, held their first official dialogue on Afghanistan in Beijing, through which they are evolving a joint strategy to deal with the possible return of Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan after the departure of US troops next year.
A group of Indian companies which in 2011 won rights to mine iron-ore in Bamiyan, in central Afghanistan, should invest $10 billion to $13 billion, and Chinese firms should commit $5 billion to $7 billion on the Aynak copper deposit in Logar province, Afghanistan’s finance minister Zakhilwal said in January this year.
The leaders of Afghanistan and India signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2011 in the areas of education, development, training of Afghan security forces and people-to-people contacts.
The BRICS Post