India and Afghanistan historically have shared close cultural and political ties, and the complexity of their diplomatic history reflects this fact. The naming of a parliament block in Kabul after Atal Bihari Vajpayee India to the trustworthy friendship between Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has taken Indo-Afghan ties to new heights. This is getting reflected in America calling India as Afghanistan’s “most reliable regional partner.” The Pentagon told the US Congress that it welcomed additional economic, medical and civic support from New Delhi to the war-ravaged country.
The assistance includes civil development projects such as the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam and the Afghan parliament building, the report said.
Well, a peaceful Afghanistan is good for Indian trade and energy security.”India is Afghanistan’s most reliable regional partner and the largest contributor of development assistance in the region,” said the Pentagon in its report to the Congress titled ‘Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan’.
New Delhi since long has provided a significant training ground for Afghan officers. Recently a picture came out in The Times of India showing Afghan women being trained by Indian security personnel.
India has given shelter to a considerable size of Afghans who are settled in multiple cities across India, most noticeably being Lajpat Nagar in Delhi. India’s respect for Afghanistan has generated reciprocal respect. Thus, India remains the most liked and favored country throughout Afghanistan.
Visuals of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurating the Chabahar port signals a regional alliance with Indian commitment to Kabul getting clearer. It is calculated that with the opening of Chabahar port in Iran, Afghanistan’s long dream of unhindered access to the sea can be realised, while trade between India and Afghanistan sees much more genuine growth.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has set a target of $10 billion for bilateral trade. Efforts are ongoing to make Afghan fruits more accessible to Indians. Similarly the carpet industry is also in focus.
The setting up of the new air-corridor is also boosting annual trade between the two countries from $700 million to $1 billion in three years and give a lift to exports of Afghanistan’s agricultural and carpet industries.
Afghanistan needs outlets to the outside world for trade. India would give her that along with highly acclaimed medical missions in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif providing free medical consultation and medicines to 30,000 Afghans every month.
So clearly and surely, India and Afghanistan are the new love-birds in South East Asia.