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'Indian developmental efforts in Afghanistan irking Pakistan'

The developmental efforts undertaken by India to help rebuild a war-ravaged Afghanistan have stirred concerns in neighbouring Pakistan, a media report said.

world Updated: Aug 19, 2009 12:08 IST

The developmental efforts undertaken by India to help rebuild a war-ravaged Afghanistan have stirred concerns in neighbouring Pakistan, a media report said on Wednesday.

Post-Taliban, New Delhi has pledged $1.2 in aid to Afghanistan, making India the fifth largest donor nation to the country after the US, Britain, Japan and Canada.

Pakistan does not rank in the top 10, The Wall Street Journal wrote on Wednesday in a piece titled "India Befriends Afghanistan, Irking Pakistan".

After shunning Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, India has become a major donor and a new friend to the democratic government -- even if its growing presence in Washington riles arch rival Pakistan, it said.

From wells and toilets to power plants and satellite transmitters, India is seeding Afghanistan with a vast array of projects, the daily said.

The $1.2 billion in pledged assistance includes projects both vital to Afghanistan's economy, such as a completed road link to Iran's border, and symbolic of its democratic aspirations, such as the construction of a new parliament building in Kabul.

The Indian government is also paying to bring scores of bureaucrats to India, as it cultivates a new generation of Afghan officialdom, it said.