Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is on a two-day visit to Afghanistan at the invitation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The visit assumed significance as it came immediately a few days after al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by the US forces.
Al-Qaeda has been having strong presence along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas, dominated by number Afghan and Pashtun tribes.
For many years India has been contributing towards the reconstruction projects in Afghanistan in the aftermath of declaration of global fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
“Today, our development assistance commitment to Afghanistan is about USD 1.5 billion. What is heartening is the support it enjoys among the Afghan people. I look forward to wide ranging discussions with President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan leadership on ways to advance our partnership to a new level in the coming years,” said the Indian PM before his departure to Afghanistan.
He added: “We will also exchange views on developments in the region and our common fight against the scourge of terrorism. The quest of the Afghan people for peace, stability and reconciliation needs the full support of all countries in the region and the international community.”
In a written statement, the Indian Premier also stated: “If our region has to prosper and move ahead, Afghanistan must succeed in rebuilding itself. Its people have suffered far too long. India’s commitment to assisting the people of Afghanistan is enduring and has weathered many storms. Since my last visit to Afghanistan in 2005, our cooperation has expanded significantly.”