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PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 'Friendship Dam', says India will stand by Afghanistan despite all odds

PM Narendra Modi hailed the people of Afghanistan for denouncing terrorism.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 'Friendship Dam', says India will stand by Afghanistan despite all odds

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday jointly inaugurated the Afghan-India Friendship Dam.

The dam, earlier known as Salma Dam, has been built with Indian aid.

In an address after inaugurating the Afghan-India Friendship Dam along with President Ashraf Ghani, PM Modi said, "We are reviving a region, renewing life, restoring hope and redefining Afghanistan's future."

Modi hailed the people of Afghanistan for denouncing terrorism and said division among them will only help those seeking to "dominate" the nation from outside.

"I am honoured to be among people who have set the standard of courage." he said.

"It was a war not of Afghan making, but it was one that stole the future of an entire generation of Afghans," the Prime Minister said, adding that the brave Afghan people are today sending a message that the forces of "destruction and death, denial and domination" shall not prevail.

"Today we come together to honour and celebrate Afghan determination to build a future of prosperity," PM Modi asserted.

"The dam has not been built by bricks and mortar, but by faith of our friendship and valour of Afghans and Indians," the PM exhorted.

PM Modi was conferred with Afghanistan's highest civilian honour, the Amir Amanullah Khan Award.

Earlier, addressing a joint press conference along with the Indian Prime Minister, Ghani said, "Today we come together to make eternal India Afghan ties and friendship."

Ghani welcomed PM Modi saying, "Welcome to your second home Afghanistan".

"Today with your help a long standing dream of Afghanistan has been realised after 30 years," Ghani further said.

Praising India's efforts the Afghan President said, "Salma Dam will chart a new course of cooperation and prosperity," adding that "our people identify India with roads, dams and over 200 small development projects."

In an apparent reference to Pakistan, Ghani asserted, "Contrary to those who spread chaos and destruction, we two countries (India, Afghanistan) have taken the joint decision to build and grow."

The multipurpose project, undertaken by Indian Government on river Chist-e-Sharif in the province concerned, is expected to irrigate 75,000 hectares of land and generate 42 mega watt power, besides ensuring water supply and other benefits to local people.Click and drag to move

After attending a lunch hosted in his honour by President Ghani, Modi will proceed to Doha, Qatar, where he will meet Qatari Prime Minister Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani .

He will also visit an Indian workers' camp in Doha today.

PM Modi is on a five-nation visit to Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, the US and Mexico during which the focus will be to broaden bilateral trade, energy and security cooperation and push for India's bid to become a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

PM Modi is likely to seek support of Switzerland and Mexico for India's membership of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group as both these countries are key members of the elite grouping. The issue is likely to figure during Modi's meeting with Obama in Washington on June 7. India has formally applied for membership of the NSG on May 12.