India congratulates Karzai, asks world to unite against Taliban | india | Hindustan Times
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India congratulates Karzai, asks world to unite against Taliban

india Updated: Nov 03, 2009 19:47 IST
New Delhi

Congratulating Afghan President Hamid Karzai on his re-election, India on Tuesday said it looked forward to partnering Afghanistan in its reconstruction efforts and asked the international community to "stand steadfast" against the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda.

"We congratulate President Karzai and look forward to partnering Afghanistan as it continues the process of its stabilisation, reconstruction and development," the external affairs ministry said in a statement in New Delhi.

The Afghan Independent Election Commission on Monday scrapped a presidential run-off vote after Karzai's only rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from the fray, citing serious concerns about the election.

Karzai on Tuesday vowed to form an inclusive government amid warnings from some western countries to work harder to combat corruption that had affected the credibility of his government during his first term.

Underlining the threat posed by the Taliban-Al Qaeda nexus to regional stability, New Delhi asked the international community "to reiterate its long-term commitment to ensuring security and development in Afghanistan".

India exhorted the world "to stand steadfast against the challenge posed by the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which threatens the stability of Afghanistan and that of the world as a whole".

"India on its part stands fully committed to assisting the government and people of Afghanistan as they build a pluralistic, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan," the ministry said.

India actively supported the Hamid Karzai government in its first term by pledging over $1.2 billion in aid directed towards the reconstruction of the violence-torn country.

Undeterred by the attacks on its embassy in Kabul twice in the last 15 months, India has repeatedly stressed that terrorist acts will not deter it from continuing its reconstruction activities that have earned New Delhi enormous goodwill among the Afghan people.