India hopes Afghan gains of last 2 decades will be preserved
Calling for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire to stop violence in Afghanistan, India on Tuesday reiterated that the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.
Speaking at the Afghanistan 2020 Conference via video conferencing, S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, said, “India has invested heavily in peace and development of Afghanistan. We strongly believe that the gains of the last two decades must be preserved and the interests of the minorities, women and vulnerable sections must be ensured. The increasing level of violence in Afghanistan naturally remains a matter of grave concern.”
“While we support all efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan, India calls for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. We also believe that the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled,” he said.
During the conference, he also announced the India-Afghanistan agreement for building the Shahtoot Dam and phase 4 of high impact community development projects in Afghanistan.
He said, “I am happy to announce today an agreement with Afghanistan for building the Shahtoot Dam, which would provide safe drinking water to 2 million residents of Kabul city. India will also launch phase 4 of high impact community development projects in Afghanistan, which include around 150 projects worth USD 80 million. India has invested heavily in peace and development of Afghanistan.”
The External Affairs Minister said that India and Afghanistan share a natural and historical relationship and moreover “our strategic partnership and long term commitment to the development of Afghanistan reflects these time tested partnership”.
He also said, “Our development portfolio of more than USD 3 billion for Afghanistan is aimed at building capacities and capabilities of Afghan nationals as well as its institutions with a view to improving governance and public service. There is no part of Afghanistan today untouched by our 400 plus projects spread across all the 34 provinces of Afghanistan.”