PM leaves for 2-day visit to Afghanistan | delhi | Hindustan Times
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PM leaves for 2-day visit to Afghanistan

delhi Updated: May 12, 2011 07:45 IST
HT Correspondent

Pledging long-term support and taking a long-term view of the ties — irrespective of the foreign troops' withdrawal plans — New Delhi wants regional countries to play a major role in charting the future course of Afghanistan.

“India and Afghanistan enjoy a deep and abiding relationship that goes back in time and history. We are people of the same region. We cannot remain unaffected by the developments in Afghanistan. We take a long-term view of our partnership with Afghanistan,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in his departure statement on Wednesday.

According to the announcement on the PMO website, Singh will be in Afghanistan on May 12 and 13. The PM said he will hold discussions with President Hamid Karzai other leaders on ways to advance partnership to new level.

“We will also exchange views on developments in the region and our common fight against the scourge of terrorism. The quest of the Afghan people for peace, stability and reconciliation needs the full support of all countries in the region and the international community,” he said. This will be his second visit to Afghanistan, while President Karzai has visited India 10 times.

Indian official said India will help Afghanistan “as generous as it can” and “sky is the limit” in its reconstruction process. Singh is set to announce new assistance to Afghanistan during his visit. The PM recalled that India's development assistance commitment to Afghanistan is about US $1.5 billion. “What is heartening is the support it enjoys among the Afghan people,” he said.

Official sources said India will step up efforts in building public institutions, human resources development in Afghanistan.