Gratifying to see democracy taking root in Afghanistan: India | india | Hindustan Times
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Gratifying to see democracy taking root in Afghanistan: India

Welcoming the Afghanistan general elections, India on Saturday said that it was "gratifying to see the democratic process taking strong root in Afghanistan".

india Updated: Aug 22, 2009 21:54 IST

Welcoming the Afghanistan general elections, India on Saturday said that it was "gratifying to see the democratic process taking strong root in Afghanistan".

Afghanistan conducted its second presidential elections on Aug 20 amidst violence and threats from a resurgent Taliban in various parts of the war-ravaged country.

"As a long-standing friend of the Afghan people, and a fellow member of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), it is gratifying to see the democratic process taking strong root in Afghanistan," said the statement issued by external affairs ministry.

India also expressed its admiration for the way candidates went ahead with their campaigns and voters came out to exercise their rights.

"Despite the complex security environment and threats from terrorist groups, candidates have campaigned fearlessly and new voters registered themselves in large numbers.... We admire the courage and determination of the Afghan voters and all the candidates in participating in this process despite the intimidation and violence which the opponents of democracy have subjected them to," the statement added.

Stating that India was "strongly supportive" of democratic institutions in Afghanistan as a fellow democracy in South Asia, it added, "We are confident that the current elections will strengthen democracy and pluralism in Afghanistan".

After the voting on Thursday, both the top candidates, current incumbent Hamid Karzai and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory after a day of counting. Election officials have, however, said that it was too early to declare the results.

The European Union and the US have both welcomed the successful conduction of the elections.