Abdullah urges India to continue good work in Afghanistan

Published: Monday, April 25, 2011, 10:30 [IST]
 
Abdullah pats India's role in Afghan

Washington, April 25: 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 told PTI.

"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

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