India - Afghanistan agree to enhance defence and security cooperation


NEW DELHI: The Indian and Afghan officials have agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in the field of security and defense apart from New Delhi’s major contribution socio and economic development contribution to Afghanistan amounting to more than $2 billion since the fall of the Taliban regime.

The Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj informed regarding New Delhi’s new commitments during a press conference with her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi on Monday.

Swaraj further added that 116 new “high impact” development projects would be implemented jointly in 31 provinces of Afghanistan.

“We remain united in overcoming the challenges posed by cross-border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries to both our countries,” she added.

She did not elaborate further regarding the defense cooperation New Delhi aims to provide to Afghanistan but added that 500 new scholarships will be offered to  next of kin of the martyrs of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces from academic year 2018.

India has played a major role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime and has invested over $2 billion in various reconstruction and infrastructure projects.

The construction of the major Salma Dam, the new Afghan parliament building, Zaranj-Delaram highway, and some other projects are among the key investments India has done so far in the country.

In the security and defense, India has provided four attack helicopters along with transport choppers besides providing scholarships to the Afghan army cadets.