India reiterates commitment to help rebuild Afghanistan

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar, said at the Tashkent conference on Afghanistan on Tuesday, that his country remains committed to helping rebuild Afghanistan and turn it into a stable, inclusive and vibrant economy.

“India stands committed to any process which can help Afghanistan emerge as a united, peaceful, secure, stable, inclusive and economically vibrant nation, with guaranteed gender and human rights,” Akbar said.

He also said India’s commitment for development assistance stands at $3 billion USD.

“Last year we embarked upon the New Development Partnership, which will support 116 ‘High Impact Community Development Projects’ in Afghanistan according to the priorities of the Afghan government. They include large scale projects such as drinking water for Kabul city and low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugees,” he said.

Akbar said that India’s other key priority is helping Afghanistan in building “robust, reliable and year-round connectivity, improving trade and investment relations of Afghanistan with prominent markets in the region and beyond”.

“We strongly believe that lack of connectivity directly impacts the economic, security and political situation in Afghanistan.

“A well-connected Afghanistan can hope to become economically vibrant, prosperous and politically stable. It will be able to engage the energies of its youth, and attract back lost talent from an Afghan diaspora.”

He also said: “The Indian grant aid of 170,000 tons of wheat supplies to Afghanistan is currently transiting through Chabahar (Port in Iran),” Akbar said.

“The India-Afghanistan air freight corridor, established in June 2017, is another important achievement,” he said, adding that there are now cargo flights between Kabul, Kandahar, New Delhi and Mumbai.

“Thus far, over 110 flights have carried over 2,000 tons of exports from Afghanistan to India worth over tens of millions of dollars.”