In­dia favours a sta­ble Pak­istan: Man­mo­han

In­dian PM sees end of eco­nomic ‘gloom and doom’

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

NEW DELHI

Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh Mon­day said In­dia favours a sta­ble and pros­per­ous Pak­istan.

Ad­dress­ing a joint news con­fer­ence with Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai in New Delhi Mon­day‚ he said In­dia sup­ports durable peace in Afghanistan. He urged need for tak­ing con­crete steps for restora­tion of peace in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai is in In­dia on a four-day of­fi­cial visit that be­gan Fri­day. Man­mo­han Singh said the Afghan peo­ple should have the right of fran­chise so to de­cide their fu­ture by them­selves.

De­scrib­ing Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai as a close friend of In­dia and a “stead­fast sup­porter” of their bi­lat­eral ties, Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh said the two had reaf­firmed their shared vi­sion of a “sta­ble, strong, united, sov­er­eign and pros­per­ous Afghanistan”.

Singh said they had in their talks re­viewed progress in im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Strate­gic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment dur­ing the past year and reaf­firmed com­mit­ment to deepen co­op­er­a­tion “in ac­cor­dance with the vi­sion out­lined in the Agree­ment”.

He said the two lead­ers had dis­cussed “the need to de­velop a strate­gic eco­nomic part­ner­ship, which will build on our eco­nomic syn­er­gies for mu­tual ben­e­fit”.

He also “re­it­er­ated to Pres­i­dent Karzai our be­lief that Afghanistan’s re­gional eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion will con­trib­ute to over­all pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion”.

Man­mo­han Singh said In­dia re­mains com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing Afghanistan in its de­vel­op­ment ef­forts.

In­dia’s de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tance com­mit­ment to Afghanistan stands at $2 bil­lion.

“We have ex­panded our pro­grammes for ca­pac­ity-build­ing, in­sti­tu­tion-build­ing and hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment. With the sign­ing of the mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to­day, we will launch the third phase of Small De­vel­op­ment Projects to ad­dress the so­cio-eco­nomic needs of peo­ple throughout Afghanistan,” he said. The two sides had dis- cussed “the changes in the se­cu­rity and po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in and around Afghanistan”.

“I ex­pressed to Pres­i­dent Karzai our be­lief that sus­tained in­ter­na­tional sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion in all re­spects, in­clud­ing in com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism em­a­nat­ing from the neigh­bour­hood, will help Afghanistan meet these chal­lenges. Pres­i­dent Karzai’s own en­light­ened lead­er­ship will play a big part in this ef­fort,” the prime min­is­ter said.

He said: “In­dia sup­ports ef­forts to achieve a last­ing peace in Afghanistan that brings to­gether all sec­tions of Afghan so­ci­ety while pre­serv­ing the achieve­ments of the last decade, in­clud­ing in the area of women’s rights.

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