Indian Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has confirmed that India and Afghanistan have signed new ‘Development Partnership’ with 116 high impact projects which will jointly help Afghanistan’s development.

Recently, Donald Trump had announced US’ new strategy for Afghanistan and urged India to do more in helping Afghanistan to develop its economic development. Fast forwarding to today, Swaraj announced that India has signed a new partnership with Afghanistan, which will help the war-torn country to reconstruct its economy. The Development Partnership consists of plans of implementation of 116 projects – ranging from providing clean water, to developing low cost housing options, reconstruction of roads, power transmission lines, schools as well as medical facilities. The projects will be spread across 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including its capital city – Kabul.

India will help in building a dam costing over $260 million, across river Kabul and the dam will help the residents of Kabul by providing clean, fresh water to use and drink. The dam can also be used to generate renewable energy through hydropower plants which will become a reliable source of energy. The World Bank has also shown interest in development of Shahtoot dam and might help with funding for the mega structure. Apart from that – health, education, communication and transport sectors have been covered under the development agreement.

Apart from these socio-economic projects, India has also agreed to boost and strengthen security cooperation to stop and reduce cross-border-terrorism: a clear oblique reference to Pakistan of course. India agreed to assist the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, organized crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering. Indo-Afghan relations have been friendly since years and probably because “foe’s foe is my friend” is so true even in real life. Yet, it is all for peace and development – a goodwill agreement with a good aim, and that is what counts indeed.

383