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Afghanistan joins India in alleging Pakistan based terror groups for violence

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has affirmed of India’s highest priority to its ties with Afghanistan and reiterated for New Delhi’s strong support in fighting terrorism and extend humanitarian and development assistance to that country.

According to a press read-out issued by Ministry of External Affairs, this was conveyed to the visiting Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani when he called on Prime Minister Monday afternoon. Rabbani briefed PM on situation in his country. Both agreed that the Afghan peace process has to be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

Earlier in the day, Afghanistan had joined India in blaming Pakistan based terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad for unleashing violence  killing innocent people and destroying infrastructure in that country.

The two countries have also agreed to launch a New Development Partnership involving 116 new “high impact” development projects to be jointly implemented in the suburban and rural communities in 31 out of 34 provinces in Afghanistan.

Foreign Ministers of the two countries participated in the Second India-Afghan Strategic Partnership Council meeting held on Monday in New Delhi. Afghan foreign minister is here on a three day official visit.

While addressing joint press conference Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj asserted that relationship with Afghanistan is an “article of faith” for India. She announced plans to provide the war torn country with more assistance to strengthen its security forces as well as deepen development partnership cooperation.  

Swaraj said New Delhi will continue to work with Afghans in their efforts “to build a secure, stable, peaceful, prosperous, united and inclusive Afghanistan.”

The two countries have signed four agreements in the areas of medicine, satellite and New Development Partnership.

Salahuddin Rabbani thanked India for its unflinching support for peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said that Afghanistan’s friendship with India or any other country does not mean hostility with others in the neighborhood.

However, he said, “Both countries suffer from terrorism and violent extremism that threatens the regional stability. The terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, which have been launching attacks against India and indiscriminately killing civilians of this country, are engaged in similar activities along with Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Daesh (IS) in Afghanistan. Together they are killing our people in Afghanistan and destroying infrastructure,” he said  

Salahuddin Rabbani said, “India has further agreed to provide assistance to Afghan national defence forces.” Kabul has been pressing for greater Indian assistance in defence supplies and capacity building.

India has so far extended $3 billion aid to Afghanistan since the fall of Taliban government in 2001. It is one of the biggest donors in the region to that country.

A joint statement released after the Monday talks said both countries agreed to “strengthen security cooperation” and India “agreed to extend further assistance for Afghan national defence and security forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, organized crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering.”

US President Donald Trump had recently asked India to play more important role in stabilizing and development of Afghanistan.

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