India stays committed to help rebuild Afghanistan
New York: With the onset of the drawdown of foreign security forces in Afghanistan, India has said it remains committed to partnering Kabul in building a peaceful, stable, democratic and pluralistic nation.
"India's assistance programme is spread across Afghanistan and spans almost the entire gamut of economic and social development activities," India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Puri, said in the Security Council on Thursday.
India, he said, was undertaking reconstruction and development activities in Afghanistan, with its total bilateral assistance commitment reaching about USD 2 billion.
"Indian companies have evinced interest in exploitation of Afghanistan's iron ore reserves and India is also participating in the TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) gas pipeline project." Puri said.
Noting these projects would call for large investments, he expressed India's resolve to cooperate with Afghanistan on plans involving regional integration for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders.
SAARC, of which Afghanistan is a full member, is an important vehicle for regional economic cooperation within the South Asian region, Puri said.
"India's rapidly growing economy and its large market make it a natural destination for Afghan exports. Similarly, India can be a cost effective and efficient source of Afghan imports," he said.
Expressing India's full support to "an Afghan-led inclusive and transparent process of reconciliation”, Puri said as the security transition moves forward, Afghanistan needs long-term commitment and support of the international community.