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Karzai welcomes PM to his ‘second home’

world Updated: May 13, 2011 00:03 IST
Press Trust of India

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday announced a fresh aid package of $500 million for Afghanistan with focus on social sector, agriculture, capacity building and infrastructure projects.

“We have decided to make a fresh commitment valued at approximately $500 million over the next few years,” he said at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai here after their talks.

India already has a commitment of $1.5 billion in Afghanistan.

The new package will consist of specific projects and schemes and other initiatives that will be developed in consultation with the Afghan government, Singh said.

Giving a broad outline, he said India would increase its focus on the social sector, agriculture, capacity building, access to Indian market and continue with its infrastructure projects.

Of the new aid package, $100 million will be for the third phase of India’s programme of small development projects, over and above the previous pledge of $20 million.

The package will also include donation of 1,000 buses for Kabul and other municipalities with provision for maintenance support, training and infrastructure.

‘Jalalabad plot worrisome’
The PM described reports of Indian consulate general being a terror plot target in Jalalabad as worrisome. “If what you have stated is true, well it is worrisome,” Singh said when asked to comment on the plot.