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Press Trust Of India
Kabul, January 09, 2011
With India raising concern over Pakistan's increasing involvement in Afghanistan's transition process, President Hamid Karzai on Sunday assured visiting External Affairs Minister SM Krishna that his government will not make any move that is detrimental to New Delhi's interest. Karzai sought to allay India's concerns during his meeting with Krishna, who is here on a two-day visit.

The Afghan President assured Krishna that India was "uppermost" on his government's priorities and appreciated New Delhi's contribution to the post-war reconstruction and rebuilding efforts in his country.

He said the Afghan government would not act in any way that is detrimental to India's interests, official sources said.

India, which has pledged $ 1.3 billion to the reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, has repeatedly expressed apprehensions over Pakistan's involvement in the transition process and over giving Taliban representation in the government.

Besides Karzai, Krishna also met his Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rasool, National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta and former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, who recently led an Afghan delegation to Pakistan to hold discussions over the peace process.

During the Afghan delegation's meetings with the top Pakistani leadership, the two countries decided to set up a high-powered joint consultative commission to take forward the peace process in Afghanistan.

Rabbani briefed Krishna on the outcome of his visit to Islamabad, sources said.

Earlier, addressing a joint press conference with Rasool, Krishna had said that any "external" interference in the transition process of Afghanistan will be detrimental to both its success and the future of the people of Afghanistan, though he did not directly name Pakistan.

Rasool, on his part said, that the peace process cannot succeed without being led by the Afghan people and noted that the process was fully controlled by it.

The two leaders held extensive talks on issues like terrorism in the region, security of Indians and various economic projects.

"Any external interference in the reintegration process would be detrimental to its success and for the future of democratic, stable, pluralistic and prosperous Afghanistan," Krishna said.

The External Affairs Minister also asserted that despite security concerns, India will continue to provide developmental assistance as long as the Afghan government wants. He also noted that Afghanistan government has assured India of full security.