India reminds world of cross-border terror faced by Kabul
Tokyo, July 8 (IANS) In a veiled reference to Pakistan, India Sunday told the international community of the "existential threat" Afghanistan faces from terrorism emanating from across its borders.
It also underlined its long-term commitment to the reconstruction of the country in the light of the 2014 withdrawal of foreign troops.
"While we assist Afghanistan in attaining its long-cherished goal of self reliance, we must also acknowledge that despite our successes in Afghanistan, the basic ideological, infrastructural, logistical and financial infrastructure of terror is still intact in the region," India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said here.
He was speaking at an international conference on Afghanistan.
"Afghanistan continues to be a country that faces an existential threat from terrorism emanating from beyond its borders, a threat that it is fighting every day, and that it is ill equipped to repel in the absence of substantial assistance from the international community," Krishna said.
Representatives from around 80 countries and international aid groups, including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, gathered here to discuss aid for Afghanistan beyond 2014, when US-led international troops are expected to leave Afghanistan.
Major donors pledged to give Afghanistan $16 billion in development aid over the next four years to prevent instability and chaos that may follow after foreign troops leave that country.
Underlining India's long-term commitment to Afghanistan much beyond the 2015-25 transformation decade, Krishna said: "India does not plan to limit its future development engagement in Afghanistan to a particular time frame or only to the presently planned projects.
"Our partnership is for the long term. The pace and nature of the utilization of the present and future Indian assistance will be determined by the preference, comfort level and absorptive capacity of the Afghan government," he said.
Over the years, India has pledged $2 billion for multifarious reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.
Krishna also called for "indigenisation" of foreign aid and the cost effective utilization of funds committed by the international community for reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Taking note of $16 billion pledged for Afghanistan by the international community, Krishna said while this amount represent a baseline or minimum requirement for a least developed landlocked country hit by externally imposed conflicts for three decades, these amounts "give a fighting chance for success if they can be optimized and managed in a frugal way without excessive administrative costs".
In this context, he alluded to Indian projects in Afghanistan and stressed that they managed to "avoid the multiple levels of subcontracting and dependence on private security companies that add to the overhead costs of the work done by many other development partners of Afghanistan.
"As a result, we have managed to carry out some of the most economical and cost effective projects in Afghanistan," he said.
Pitching for an investment driven approach to the revival of Afghanistan in post 2014 period, Krishna referred to recommendations made by a regional investors' conclave New Delhi hosted June 28 for shoring up the Afghan economy.
"We will need active support of the international community to make a reality of the vision of a prosperous Afghanistan acting as a hub of the region; and with its resources and trading instincts, as a catalyst for wider regional cooperation," he said.
"India is ready to partner the international community and Afghanistan to achieve these goals within a globalized economic environment. A dynamic Afghan economy could make it a source of security as well as the heart of a cooperative region," he added.
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