Saturday, 4 June 2016

New Delhi Commited to Stand Beside Kabul Against All Odds: Modi

Kabul: Prime minister Narendra Modi has asserted that India would extend all-out cooperation to all parts of war-torn Afghanistan, regardless of the barriers of geography, politics and terror attacks. Jointly inaugurating the landmark Afghan-India Friendship Dam with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, at the strategically important Herat Province today, Modi hailed the people of Afghanistan for denouncing terrorism. He warned that division among them would help those wanting to “dominate” the country from outside. 

Modi said: “It was a war not of Afghan making, but it was one that stole the future of an entire generation of Afghans.” The brave Afghans, he said, are today sending a message that the destructive forces of “death, denial and domination” cannot prevail. Afghanistan will be much “safer and beautiful”, once the country succeeds to completely defeat terrorism, he added.

The Friendship Dam was earlier known as Salm Dam. The ₹1,700 crore dam has been built by India on the Harirud river, at Chist-e-Sharif, in western Herat. The dam will generate 42 MW power and irrigate around 75,000 hectares of land. 

More than 1,500 Afghan and Indian engineers were involved in the dam’s construction that took several years to build under trying conditions.  

Modi, in his speech, hailed the Afghan peace process and the reconstruction activities in the country. Afghanistan’s success, he said, is the desire of all Indians.  

Ghani, on his part, said that the two countries have decided to jointly build and grow, negating all efforts of chaos and destruction. 

Modi had visited Kabul on 25 December during which he inaugurated a $90 million swanky Parliament complex, built by India.

All material and equipment for the dam’s construction were transported to the Bander-e-Abbas port of Iran from India, through the sea route, followed by 1,200 km on road to the Iran-Afghan border at Islam Kila. From there it traversed a further 300 km by road to the site at Herat.  

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