India pledges $ 2 billion for Afghanistan

By financial express

Calling for an immediate and a comprehensive ceasefire, India on Tuesday (Nov 24, 2020) has announced new development initiatives for Afghanistan. These initiatives include a dam to supply water to Kabul and around 150 community projects for $80 million.

“India is committed to a long-term role for the development of Afghanistan,” the external affairs minister S Jaishankar said at a virtual international pledging conference.

While highlighting that today no part of Afghanistan is untouched by the 400 plus projects that have been undertaken in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces, the minister stated that India’s development portfolio in Afghanistan has to-date amounted to over US$ 3 billion. According to him, 65,000 Afghan students have also studied in India.

What are the other projects India is doing in Afghanistan?

India has an agreement with Afghanistan for building Shahtoot Dam in the Kabul river basin. This will provide drinking water to two million residents of Kabul city.

According to the external affairs minister, this dam will be built on the 202-km Pul-e-Khumri electricity transmission line. This line was built in 2009 to provide power to the city.

Under the Phase IV of its high impact community, development projects initiative focused on smaller project for villages and districts, India has plans to launch some 150 projects worth $80 million,

Describing the neighbouring Afghanistan as a contiguous neighbour, Jaishankar in his remarks expressed concern at the recent rise in violence in that country.

Expressing concern over the increasing level of violence and calling for an immediate ceasefire, the Minister said “ India will support all efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan, and we also believe the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.” he said.

Adding, “The interests of minorities, women and other vulnerable sections must be ensured and the gains of the last two decades must be preserved.”

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