Indian foreign office said in a statement that visiting Afghan Defense Minister Lt. Gen Tariq Shah Bahrami called on Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday and urged her country to play a greater role in Afghanistan, according to DNA.
According to the statement, at the meeting Bahrami also shared his assessment of Afghan government’s recent initiatives for internal reconciliation, and efforts to combat terrorism, which receives support from safe havens and sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan, an oblique reference to Pakistan, according to the statement.
It said that the Afghan Defense Minister also “highlighted” that the Afghan people and the government would like India to continue to play a “greater role” in the country.
He also talked about efforts being made by Kabul to combat the menace of opium cultivation and drugs trafficking that funds terror against the people of Afghanistan, the ministry said.
“Afghanistan deeply appreciated the positive and constructive support extended by India for economic development and reconstruction in Afghanistan and to the Afghan National Defense and Security forces,” the MEA said.
Indian External Affairs Minister Swaraj appreciated the courage with which the Afghan forces were defending their country and making supreme sacrifices, the ministry said.
“She conveyed India’s support for the efforts of the government and the people of Afghanistan for building a peaceful, secure, stable, united, inclusive and prosperous nation. India remains committed to its New Development Partnership according to the priorities of Afghanistan,” the MEA said.
India last year had announced that it would implement 116 development projects in Afghanistan under the ‘New Development Partnership’.