Afghan President highlights India’s importance on economic front

New Delhi: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday highlighted that the economic cooperation with India was a bright prospect, saying that the country has “8 per cent potential rate of growth.”

“The bright prospect is India regarding a consensus of 8 per cent potential rate of growth,” Ghani said, referring to China’s growth settled at 6 per cent, while giving a public address at the Vivekanand International Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank.

Ghani further said the Afghan Strategy by the United States singled out India for engagement on the economic front.

“It singled out India for engagement in this approach and particularly, on the economic front, where India was such an important partner with respect to a range of issues,” said Ghani, while giving a public address at the Vivekanand International Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank.

Ghani thanked every Indian for contributing in the financial aid to Afghanistan, saying that “India gave us USD 1 bn package of assistance for the Brussels Conference in 2016. In effect, every Indian contributed USD 1. Thank you to every Indian.”

He further said that Afghanistan needs courage, compassion and determination in equal measures to end the 40 years of violence for his country and 600 years of instability for Asia.

This visit of the Afghan President, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is his fourth visit to India in the last three years and 12th personal interaction between the two leaders.

The Afghan President, emphasising on the growing extremism and terrorism around the world, said, “Terrorism is manifesting itself in its fifth wave since the launch of anarchism and it’s radically more morphing. I think we can have consensus that the level of threat post by terrorism today is much larger that what it was in the year 2001,” adding, “but the response to terrorism is country-focussed, not global not regional.”

President Ghani, who is in New Delhi on a day-long official visit, also met his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind earlier in the day.

The two sides emphasised that the renunciation of violence and terror; closure of cross border safe havens and sanctuaries were essential for any meaningful progress and lasting peace.

The Indian side agreed to extend further assistance depending upon the needs of the Afghan defence and police forces.

Both sides agreed that the recent convergence and alignment of views at regional and international arenas have created opportunities for bringing peace, security and stability in Afghanistan. It was agreed to further deepen the bilateral strategic dialogue and consultations at all levels in order to achieve the shared objectives.

Ghani also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and discussed bilateral and regional issues.

The visit has come at a time when the Afghanistan leadership is focussing on stabilising the war-torn country and brokering peace with the Taliban rebels. (ANI)