India to strengthen Karzai's hands

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2011 15:10 hrs

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is expected to make a two-day visit to Kabul soon with the aim of strengthening the hands of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and his government, which is facing criticism for failing to curb violence and corruption.

During his expected visit to Kabul, Dr. Singh will address the recently elected parliament and also interact with the broad spectrum of political leadership in Afghanistan.

New Delhi believes that it is essential for President Karzai to remain in control; so that the fringe groups like Haqqanis, Hekmatyars and other Pakistan backed groups could be kept at bay from the power sharing in the government.

India has been stressing that the reintegration of Taliban in Afghanistan should be Afghan led and Afghan owned. India has time and again drawn redlines and it strongly believes that only those elements, who are ready to renounce violence and willing to adopt the Afghan constitution could be reintegrated and are entitled for power sharing.

However, Europeans and off late US have been saying that there could be no solution and lasting peace in the country without talking and reconciling to the militants, some of them based across the Durand line in Pakistan.

The timing of Prime Minister's visit assumes significance because it is taking place at a time when US is about to commence draw down of troops. US is likely to begin withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan later in July this year.

According to sources: " The main aim of the Prime Minister's visit to Kabul is to reiterate India's commitment in rebuilding Afghanistan at the highest level."

The Prime Minister's visit also aims to enhance the development cooperation. India is already contributing 1.5 billion US dollars in capacity building of the country, which includes education, agriculture, medical, electricity, dams and bridges.

Sources say more announcements vis-…-vis enhancing capacity building are likely to be made during the visit. (ANI)

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