Abdullah urges India to continue good work in Afghanistan

Afghanistan`s former foreign minister and opposition leader Dr Abdullah Abdullah has appreciated India`s role in post-Taliban period and said that it should continue with its good work in his war-torn country.

Updated: Apr 25, 2011, 11:18 AM IST

Washington: Afghanistan`s former foreign
minister and opposition leader Dr Abdullah Abdullah has appreciated India`s role in post-Taliban period and said that it should continue with its good work in his war-torn country.

Currently on a visit to the US to familiarize leaders,
officials and think-tanks here about the ground realities in
his country and its neighborhood, Abdullah said unlike others
India has a clear defined goals in Afghanistan.

"India has defined its goal that a stable Afghanistan
with a functioning system, representative government would be
in their interest. That is why they have been helping us in
development, reconstruction, rehabilitation, capacity building
and many things. So India`s role is widely appreciated in
Afghanistan," Abdullah said.

"Continue the good work," Abdullah said, when asked
what else India can do in Afghanistan, besides what it has
been doing so far.

Chairman of the Coalition for Hope and Change,
Abdullah addressed more than a dozen think-tanks, besides
meeting top US officials and Congressional leaders here.

"Indian support for Afghanistan is based on the
priorities defined by Afghans and the Government of
Afghanistan. Also Indian aid has gone directly to the
projects, which people can see the benefits of it. It is not
just the quantity, but also the quality of assistance which
makes it significant," he said.

Abdullah, who lost to Karzai in the 2009 presidential
elections, said the purpose of his trip is to familiarize the
opinion builders and policy makers in Washington about the
ground realities in Afghanistan.

He also addressed the World Islamic Forum Conference
held in Washington.

"The expectations of the people of Afghanistan are
that the support from India continues until Afghanistan is
stable. Afghanistan has a system, until it has a functioning
system for its own people and in creating of an environment
which will not allow terrorism and extremism to take roots,"
Abdullah said.
Abdullah said that there has always been perception
about Pakistani claims that India is indulging in anti-
Pakistan activities inside Afghanistan, but this perception is
far away from reality.

"They have always raised their concerns. That
continues to be a topic of discussion at every meeting which
Afghans are having with our Pakistani neighbors," he said.

"We have not seen any sign of their concern that India
might use Afghanistan as a launching pad for activities
against Pakistan," Abdullah said.

Afghanistan, he said, is obliged to have good ties
with all its neighbors and all countries in the region.
Abdullah said no country has the right to veto with
respect to Afghanistan`s foreign policy.

PTI