Pledging help for Afghanistan to fight against terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday batted for greater connectivity and trade. The two sides agreed to sign six pacts within three months, which include an extradition treaty, a motor vehicle agreement and a mutual legal assistance pact after a meeting between Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.
Ghani called for regional cooperation to defeat extremist groups, and said he would “make Afghanistan a graveyard of terror.”
The regional cooperation includes Pakistan and China — both of them are working more close with Ghani administration now than India.
“We share Afghanistan’s pain over persisting terrorism and extremist violence that destroy lives and derail progress,” Modi said. He stressed on trade and transit issues in tandem with priority of economic development being a key component of his foreign policy.
“We are ready to welcome Afghan trucks at the ICP (integrated check-post) Attari. We are also prepared to join the successor agreement to Afghan Pakistan trade and transit agreement. This will re-establish one of the oldest trading routes of South Asia. I also reaffirmed my commitment to take the Chahbahar Port project in Iran forward,” Modi said.
However, it would take some convincing to get Pakistan on board. The strategically- important Chahbahar Port will reduce the dependence of Afghanistan on Pakistan for access to sea.
Ghani thanked India for $2.2 billion aid into his country’s development over the past decade.