Afghanistan and India issue joint statement
Munich authorities are ramping up security precautions for this year’s Oktoberfest after a deadly shooting rampage at a city mall this summer and two attacks claimed by ISIS left Germans on edge. Deputy police chief Werner Feiler said backpacks and large bags will be banned, the 30-hectare venue will be fenced to ensure all visitors go through security controls, multiple video cameras have been installed and additional police will be on hand. He added that although there is a “high abstract danger” of an attack at the festival, which is expected to draw six million visitors, no concrete security threats are known of. India and Afghanistan have called for an end to all sponsorship, support and sanctuaries to militants, including those who have committed violence in the two countries.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani did not name Pakistan in their remarks, though they have previously.
The neighbouring country has been accused of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and rebels in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Earlier this week, a police chief was killed in Afghanistan after his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb blast in an eastern province.
Zabihullah Zemarai, a provincial council member in Nangarhar province, said on Sunday that General Zarawer Zahid died from his wounds after his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. The attack took place in the Hasarak district where Zahid was leading an operation against insurgents.
Yesterday, India has offered a fresh $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan for building capacity in education, health, agriculture, energy and infrastructure, said a joint statement by the two sides. They also signed an extradition treaty. Kabul has cultivated closer ties with New Delhi in recent years as a balance to Pakistan.
Ghani arrived in New Delhi yesterday for a twoday visit.
Modi and Ghani also reaffirmed their resolve to strengthen their security and defence cooperation, but did not give any details. India already has donated three multirole Mi-35 helicopters to Afghanistan.
The two sides also stressed that fast implementation of an agreement among Afghanistan, India and Iran to develop the Chabahar port in Iran would increase connectivity within the region.
India said in May it would invest up to $500 million to develop the Iranian port, which it plans to use for trade with Afghanistan in the absence of a land route through Pakistan.