India and Afghanistan today signed and exchanged four pacts in areas of transport, health, space and new development partnership.
The four documents signed and exchanges today included: (a) Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic; (b) Memorandum of Understanding for mutual cooperation in the field of pharmaceutical products regulation; (c) The Orbit Frequency Coordination Agreement between India and Afghanistan on South Asia Satellite (SAS); and (d) Letters establishing the New Development Partnership and launching 116 High Impact Community Development Projects.
The agreements were exchanged after delegation level talks under the “2nd Strategic Partnership Council” Meeting between India and Afghanistan respectively represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi today.
After the exchange of the documents, Mrs Swaraj told media persons that India will continue to work with Afghanistan in its efforts to build a secure, stable, peaceful, prosperous, united and inclusive nation. She stressed that the two countries remain united in overcoming the challenges posed by cross-border terrorism and safe havens and sanctuaries. Emphasizing that strategic partnership with Afghanistan is an article of faith for India, the Minister said India would continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan in realizing their dreams.
As The aPolitical reported yesterday that development of Chahbahar is a priority issue, Mrs Swaraj said development of the Port trilateral cooperation with Iran is being expedited, and India will supply wheat to Afghanistan in coming weeks through Chahbahar port. She also informed about jointly implementing 116 new High Impact Development Projects to bring socio-economic and infrastructure development in Afghanistan. She further stressed continuing India’s focus on building governance and democratic institutions, human resource capacity and skill development.
Without naming common neighbour Pakistan, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said, Afghanistan’s friendship with India does not mean hostility to others in the region. Mr Rabbani highlighted ever strengthening the bond between India and Afghanistan which he said is aimed to protect and to achieve the socio-economic, security and trade interests. Recognising that India suffers from terror attacks by terror outfits LeT and JeM, Rabbani said these terror outfits are also targeting Afghanistan in league with Taliban, Al-Qaida and Daish.
Mr Rabbani also informed media persons about his discussion with Mrs Swaraj on easing of visa regimes to promote trade and people to people contacts.
Later, Mr Rabbani called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence. The Afghan Foreign Minister arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a three-day visit to India.