India’s symbolic gift of democracy to Afghanistan – its new parliament building – is almost complete with plans in the works for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Kabul in the near future for the official inauguration, reported Afghan news agency TOLONews.

Indian media claims that the prime minister’s office is pressuring all stakeholders to complete the project at the earliest, with Modi eager to attend the inauguration ceremony.

The project was initiated by the Indian government in 2007 as a mark of friendship and cooperation to help rebuild war-torn Afghanistan, and is set for completion on Dec 31.

But the new parliament building was due to have been completed in November 2011 and has missed at least three completion deadlines over the last four years.

In the latest review, conducted by India’s Secretary of Urban Development Madhusudan Prasad and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), it was found that 96 per cent of the work has been completed and the project team is putting final touches to the building.

The project had been conceived as a $45 million venture but is now likely to cost the exchequer $90 million.

The parliament building has elements of Mughal and modern architecture and will have Asia’s largest dome as its key feature.

It is situated between historic landmarks King’s Palace ‘Darulaman’ and the Queen's Palace – which bear the marks of the war and tell the story of conflict and devastation.

The building will house the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House) with a seating capacity of 294, a 190-seat Meshrano Jirga (Upper House), entrance lobby, offices, conference rooms, dining halls and a press room among others.

When he inaugurates the parliament building, Modi wants to emphasise India’s role as a major player in the region, media reports said.

Opinion

Window of opportunity
05 Mar 2021

Window of opportunity

How do we ensure growth revival built on a sustainable, efficient and stable foundation?
March for freedom
Updated 05 Mar 2021

March for freedom

Those demanding ‘azadi’ are moving society forward.
More of the same
Updated 04 Mar 2021

More of the same

Civil society groups and political parties tend to treat their paid employees as casual labour.

Editorial

Ravi project
Updated 05 Mar 2021

Ravi project

THE assault by an enraged group of farmers on a provincial revenue team assigned to acquire land for the...
05 Mar 2021

Climate change

PAKISTAN received much less rainfall in January 2021 as compared to previous years, making it the 17th driest month...
05 Mar 2021

Antimicrobial resistance

WITH the focus on Covid-19, many health issues, though otherwise recognised as serious medical problems, tend to be...
04 Mar 2021

Senate upset

THE Senate election results have delivered a stunning blow to the PTI. While the ruling party has seen an increase ...
ME ‘security pact’
Updated 04 Mar 2021

ME ‘security pact’

THERE has been an overflowing of bonhomie between the Gulf Arabs and Israel over the past few months, much of it...
04 Mar 2021

Students’ protest

A GROUP of university students in Karachi and Hyderabad caught the media’s attention when they announced a...