India extends further defence assistance to Afghanistan

India extends further defence assistance to Afghanistan

India and Afghanistan Monday inked four pacts and agreed to strengthen security cooperation as Foreign Ministers of both countries held extensive talks at the second Indo-Afghan Strategic Partnership Council meeting here.

India agreed to enhance existing assistance to Afghan security forces, including in capacity building and training of Afghan soldiers in India, during a Partnership Council meeting on Monday, even as Afghanistan's Foreign Minister suggested a larger role for India in regional diplomacy.

Foreign Minister Swaraj said that New Delhi would undertake 116 new "high impact" development projects focused on socio-economic and infrastructure development in 31 provinces of Afghanistan.

She said, the two countries remain united in overcoming the challenges posed by cross-border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries.

Currently, Afghanistan relies on Pakistan for trade but Islamabad does not allow New Delhi to transport through its territory.

"India agreed to extend further assistance for the Afghan national defence and security forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, organised crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering", the statement said. He was here to attend the 2nd meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council between India and Afghanistan.

Salahuddin Rabbani thanked India for its unflinching support for peace and stability in Afghanistan. This MoU was signed and exchanged between the National Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority of Afghanistan and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Rabbani briefed PM Modi on the situation in Afghanistan. During the talks, both sides chose to ramp up defence and security cooperation. The terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad which have been launching attacks against India and indiscriminately killing civilians of this country are engaged in similar activities along with Taliban, Al Qaeda and Daesh in Afghanistan.

Both India and Afghanistan are victims of terrorism emanating out of Pakistani soil.

India already has donated three multirole Mi-35 helicopters to Afghanistan, and trains Afghan security forces and police personnel.

India will also assist in setting up Shatoot dam and drinking water supply project for Kabul, low cost housing for returning refugees, water supply network for Charikar city and polyclinic in Mazar-e-Sharif, a gypsum board manufacturing plant in Kabul among a slew of projects planned for Afghanistan, the Economic Times reported.

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