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Indian PM Modi to visit Afghanistan to inaugurate dam in Herat district

Published Jun 02, 2016 08:00pm


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NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Afghanistan for the second time in six months this weekend, on a one-day visit to inaugurate a dam with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, India's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The dam, in western Herat district close to the Iran border, is one of two large projects carried out under India's development partnership with Afghanistan, worth more than $2 billion.

“The completion of the Afghan-India friendship dam represents the culmination of years of hard work by around 1,500 Indian and Afghan engineers and other professionals in very difficult conditions,” Vikas Swarup, foreign ministry spokesman told reporters of the Saturday visit.

India has been a key supporter of Kabul's post-Taliban government, a stance that has led analysts to point to the threat of a “proxy war” in Afghanistan between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan — the historic backer of the Taliban — has long been accused of assisting the insurgents in Afghanistan, especially with attacks on Indian targets in the country.

“The real image that India has in Afghanistan is as a partner which has stood by... through its difficult times, a partner which has contributed immensely to Afghanistan's development, unlike some partners who have contributed to instability and terrorism,” Swarup said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

In March, Taliban militants fired a barrage of rockets at Afghanistan's newly built parliament complex in Kabul.

The complex, built by India at an estimated cost of $90 million, was inaugurated by PM Modi in December.

India and Afghanistan recently signed a three-way transit agreement with Iran to develop its southern port of Chabahar, as Modi visited Tehran last month.

The deal, bypassing Pakistan to connect Iran, India, and Afghanistan to central Asia, would boost economic growth in the region, Modi said at the time.


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Comments (49) Closed

M. Emad Jun 02, 2016 08:24pm

India - Afghanistan Dosti Zindabad !

Sunil Jun 02, 2016 08:28pm

A constructive process of friendship.

shubs Jun 02, 2016 08:38pm

In which alternate universe is India and Pakistan spoken about in the same breath?

Sierrabrave Jun 02, 2016 08:39pm

A small but highly symbolic contribution to bring back prosperity and peace to Afghanistan. Long live Indo-Afghan friendship

Dwaraka Nath Jun 02, 2016 08:40pm

After Modi government come to power a lot of development such as collateral ties in various fields including import and export of goods ,construction of roads ,dams ,ports ,technical education etc between India and many countries including almost all muslim countries except Pakistan .Reason may be only one issue ,that is Kashmir .

Zulfi Khan Jun 02, 2016 08:45pm

This is real development. I wish Paksitan had made this dam instead of India. We would then have earned permanent goodwill. Instead we gifted them Taliban and result is that we have been burning for last 15-20 years.

divergence Jun 02, 2016 08:52pm

Modi seems like spending more time in Afghanistan than in India, to inaugurate this and that.

Abdul Jun 02, 2016 08:56pm

Pakistan will take note of it and right to UN.

AKKS Jun 02, 2016 09:04pm

Well done India, Way to go!

Indian Jun 02, 2016 09:10pm

Congratulations for new dam.wishes from India.

Kranti Jun 02, 2016 09:12pm

We will do more in future...

Sudhir Neyalasinger Jun 02, 2016 09:22pm

@divergence Modi is omnipresent. He's all over the place. Today he's in Afghanistan, tomorrow in Saharanpur in india, the day after in Goa and a week later in the United States. We haven't had a PM who works as hard.

CALCUTTA MAN Jun 02, 2016 09:32pm

More material for more seminars on "Pakistan's security"!

Justwasif Jun 02, 2016 09:35pm

Our PM will visit saudi Arabia 6th times in two months... Simple

AKKS Jun 02, 2016 09:38pm

A very good comparative study of India and Pakistan! A few words says it all! Wish sensible people like Zulfi Khan existed in Pakistan's administration, defence and general population!

Justwasif Jun 02, 2016 09:39pm

Where is Pakistan..

divergence Jun 02, 2016 09:39pm

@Kranti yeah yeah we will see, perhaps you should also think about taking those afghan refugees from Pakistan, who have been involved in terrorism and espionage?

Harmony-1© Jun 02, 2016 09:51pm

@Zulfi Khan - Who is "we"? At least be real.

Justwasif Jun 02, 2016 09:57pm

Just like a respectable PM of a sovereign country

Justwasif Jun 02, 2016 09:57pm

Pakistan will take this "issue" on "international" level.

Justwasif Jun 02, 2016 10:01pm

@Zulfi Khan we are burning for last more than 35 years

divergence Jun 02, 2016 10:01pm

Why doesn't the visionary leader invest money in building schools for Afganis, if he is such a friend, I think most of the schools would have been blown up by Talibans or whoever these guys are, perhaps that will help in getting that nation out of that ignorance due to which it can not differentiate between its enemy and friend.

Namo Jun 02, 2016 10:02pm

@divergence That's your problem don't get India involved in your issues with your neighbours

AKKS Jun 02, 2016 10:04pm

@Harmony-1© , "@Zulfi Khan - Who is "we"? At least be real". Is it difficult for you to understand who he means by saying 'WE'?

Justwasif Jun 02, 2016 10:12pm

@Kranti.. And we will "do more" for usa.. Simple

Harmony-1© Jun 02, 2016 10:23pm

@AKKS - Now that you have spoken, "he means" your lot!

Indian Jun 02, 2016 10:25pm

Afganistan has every right to develop. and India will do its best to help Afghanistan. Afghanistan -Hindustan dosti Zindabad

Indian Jun 02, 2016 10:25pm

@shubs hahaha only in Pakistani newspapers

ripan Jun 02, 2016 10:26pm

@Harmony-1© it is evident that he means the pakistanis and if you don't agree then you aren't being real

Citizen Jun 02, 2016 10:30pm

@Harmony-1© who is "your lot" ?

Chirag Jun 02, 2016 10:40pm

@divergence u worry about ur country instead of bashing others

KERMU Jun 02, 2016 10:56pm

Although any help to poor Afghans is appreciable but it is hoped that Afghans are aware of India,s hidden agenda behind developmental work.

Harmony-1© Jun 02, 2016 11:48pm

@Citizen - Not you!

Priya Jun 03, 2016 01:29am

@divergence We are actively involved in assisting the education sector in Afghanistan. We pledged 1 million USD to Habbiba school in Kabul and have scholarships for Afghan students to study here. We are a poor country so our aid is limited to education, health care and basic infrastructure.

Pff Jun 03, 2016 01:58am

@KERMU It's a no brainer why the government is helping Afghanistan. Similarly why would Pakistan rush to help Sri Lanka. But average people only hope to help fellow humans. It's like you appreciating that our aid benefits Afghans.

Kulbhushan Yadav Jun 03, 2016 02:03am

@divergence Modi treats Afghans just like its own citizens :) . There would be more such visits.

Sadaf Jun 03, 2016 02:11am

I hope the Indian PM would soon do something about the 3 million refugees who are living in pakistan( getting free education in govt schools, free treatment in govt hospitals) to go back to Afghanistan or can at least adopt a million refugees in India at least. It's not a bad idea Iran and India are sympathizers of Afghanistan but Iran is the first to close its borders for refugees letting people die and India will never let them even if they have valid travel documents.

Kulbhushan Yadav Jun 03, 2016 02:14am

@KERMU Yes Indian hidden agenda is to ensure Afghanistan does not go into the hand of barbarian Taliban , have drinking water and electricity, education etc

S. A. M. Jun 03, 2016 04:48am

Afghanistan has been paying heavy price in the form of its citizens lives and almost turning the country into rubble. it's a punishment for a crime they never committed. I hope it gets so strong that it doesn't need anybody to give it charity. more importantly I hope Afghanistan gets so stable that no outsider can destabilize it. this would certainly have a positive impact on Pakistan.

joe Jun 03, 2016 05:16am

Construction of Parliament building,dams,roads,schools hospitals being done by india in Afghanistan.

AHA Jun 03, 2016 07:39am

Dam means irrigation and multi fold job opportunities for common man to work.

Ibrahim Kabuli Jun 03, 2016 07:39am

Lots of Love/Respect to my Indian Brothers and sisters from Kabul, Afghanistan.

David Rubin Jun 03, 2016 07:56am

India needs to invest at least $10 billion more in Afghanistan in addition to the $4 billion already.

We must contribute initially to more welfare such as dams, roads, medical facilities, better education, agriculture, irrigation, power, child care and employment and then move towards helping set up manufacturing and industry so that Afghanistan can lift its people out of poverty.

I am aware that India too is not a rich country and $10 billion is a lot but that money can make a lot of difference to the Afghan life and its citizens so that they have alternate and stable avenues of employment and better life.

Neighbors will doubt India's motives but we cannot help that, our priority should be to help from human angle keeping in mind the women and children of Afghanistan who have been hit the most.

Vivek (Indore) Jun 03, 2016 08:54am

@divergence he does actually. There is ICCR scholarships for Afghanis to come study in India. Also, there are many Indian schools and colleges operating in Afghanistan.

Muneeb Jun 03, 2016 09:06am

@Zulfi Khan it was Afghanistan who gave Taliban to Pakistan not vice versa. Please research.

Awrangabdula Jun 03, 2016 10:44am

I am from Afghanistan

First of all my hand folded thanks to friendly people of india who supporting us on every angle either development, military, education, hospital, roads, etc. etc.- INDIAN JINDABAD

Awrangabdula Jun 03, 2016 10:44am


Awrang abdula Jun 03, 2016 10:46am


Varntvar Jun 03, 2016 11:46am

@divergence India has built 80 schools, 4 colleges including a medical college in Afghanistan in last 10 years. Besides this, India provides 1000s of scholarships to Afghans to study engineering, law, political science, administration, water management & agriculture research. Though very small in number, it is still the maximum any other country has done.