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Afghanistan expects support from India on economic front

New Delhi, Aug.5 : Afghanistan expects support from India on economic front. This came out loud and clear at a seminar titled “India-Afghanistan: Building Bridges post-2014”, which was organised by the Shift Series in collaboration with Centre for Inner Asian Studies and School of International studies, Jawaharlal Lal Nehru University in Delhi.

India’s significant role in rebuilding war-torn Afghanistan post 2001 and the country’s expectation of India’s support in terms of economic development was discussed at a seminar.

The seminar brought together students, intellectuals and officials who discussed the importance of India- Afghanistan relations and how India could do more for the economic development of the war-ravaged nation.

The panelists also discussed the security challenges that the country faces and how economic development is key to establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

India’s contribution to human resource development in Afghanistan is immense. Around thousands of scholarships are offered to Afghan students annually.

Trade between India and Afghanistan has gone up from 80 million USD in 2001 to 280 million USD in 2010.

“India plays an important role post 2001 in terms of rehabilitation and reconstruction of Afghanistan in terms of infrastructure in terms of natural resources, there was a big contract between Afghanistan and India which was Hajigak copper mine then of course the Delaram road the big highway which is 150 million USD investments by India and other smaller investments also makes the 5 the country to invest in Afghanistan, however there is huge expectation from India given that India is a growing economy a super power almost in the region and Afghanistan traditionally and historically have a very close relationship. Indians are very well accepted by Afghans and there is more expectations from Indians to invest in Afghans economy” said Fawzi Khoofi, Chairperson for women and Human Rights committee in the parliament, Kabul.

Khoofi also talked about the societal challenges faced by Afghan women especially during the Taliban regime. The government of Afghanistan is now encouraging Afghan women to seek education.

At present 40 percent of school students in Afghanistan are women.

“The women civilization history and participation in Afghanistan does not go to post 2001 but because Afghan women were the main victim of the Taliban regime. Education was ban to them even they were not allowed to see a doctor without any male companion so they were the main victim. Therefore, more attention and focus went to women’s rights and women’s participation post 2001 and therefore there were huge achievement in terms of women political participation. Right now we have 69 women out of 249 in peace in the parliament in the lower house which are elected directly by the people’s vote,” said Khoofi.

Peace talks between Afghan Government and Taliban took place in July this year. The government discussed the strategic opportunities that could be attained through peace and stability. Now for the next round of talks the government will discuss the conditions of Taliban to bring peace in the region.

“The security situation is unfortunately not good in Afghanistan despite which we have made a significant progress that I have discussed in my lecture. Unfortunately the Taliban are continued to be sheltered across our borders in Pakistan where they have also started creating problems there and we are now hopeful that this peace process which we have launched in good faith would enable Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table with Afghanistan,” said M. Ashraf Haidari, Deputy Chief of Mission amd Minister Councelor, The Embassy of Afghanistan, New Delhi.

India is the fifth largest donor of Afghanistan and the country hopes to shift from aid to investment that will create opportunity for the economic growth of the war-torn country. (ANI)