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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Modi, Karzai resolve to deepen bilateral relations

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 27, 2014
First Published: 10:46 IST(27/5/2014) | Last Updated: 01:52 IST(28/5/2014)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday discussed various ways to deepen bilateral ties, including security cooperation and the fight against terrorism.

The two leaders also discussed the recent attack on the Indian consulate in Herat that the Afghan leader maintains was carried out by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

During his first bilateral meeting with an international leader after assuming charge as Prime Minister, Modi thanked Karzai for the assistance provided by the Afghan forces in repelling the attack on the consulate and said it had “only strengthened our resolve to work together with Afghanistan”.

Modi reiterated India’s commitment to the development and reconstruction of Afghanistan and its interest in seeing a prosperous, independent and sovereign Afghanistan, where the reconciliation process would be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, said foreign secretary Sujatha Singh.

Asked about Karzai’s remarks on Monday that the LeT was behind the attack on the Indian Consulate and whether this was raised at the meeting, Singh merely said, “Yes. There was a discussion” and that the views of the Afghan President were in the public domain.

Karzai had said on Monday, “According to information given to us by a Western intelligence agency, the perpetrators of the Herat attack belonged to the LeT. This was mentioned in writing in the report shared with us.”

In his talks Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Modi pitched for an early reconciliation process to meet the aspirations of the Tamil community in Lanka and discussed other key issues including those of arrested fishermen.

In a bilateral meeting that lasted nearly 30 minutes, Modi said, “the early and full implementation” of the 13th Amendment and going beyond that would contribute to the process of national reconciliation in that country.”

The 13th Amendment gives Sri Lankan provincial councils specified powers based on the provisions of the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. 

“He (Modi) requested the government of Sri Lanka to expedite the process of national reconciliation in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka,” foreign secretary Singh said.

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