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Our developmental assistance is transforming lives in Afghanistan: India hits back at Trump

Jan 3 (AZINS) India has reacted to US President Donald Trump's jibe on Prime minister Narendra Modi and mocking India's development aid to Afghanistan. Top sources speaking to WION said "India firmly believes in the critical role that developmental assistance can play in transforming human lives.India plays a significant role in Afghanistan as a development partner. This partnership is built on the specific needs and requirements worked out with the Government of Afghanistan. It is aimed at the welfare of the people of Afghanistan and for a tangible improvement in the lives of its people."

They further added, "India seeks to build capacities and capabilities of Afghan nationals and its institutions for governance and delivery of public service, develop socio-economic infrastructure, secure lives and promote livelihood." Sources ruled out India sending troops to the country saying we "do not send its armed forces abroad except under the specific mandate of UN Peacekeeping Operations."

US President in the 1st cabinet meet of the year had said even though he gets "along very well with India and Prime Minister Modi", PM Modi "is constantly telling me, he built a library in Afghanistan" but Trump "Don’t know who’s using it (the library) in Afghanistan".

India's development partnership is premised on 5 pillars: Infrastructure, Capacity Building, Humanitarian Assistance, Economic Development & Connectivity.

On the infrastructure front, India is building 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram for facilitating the movement of goods and services to the Iranian border. The highway will connect Iran with the Garland Highway, which links Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif Herat and Kunduz. The construction of 220kV DC transmission line from Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul and a 220/110/20 kV sub-station at Chimtala is not only bringing electricity and light to smaller towns and villages but also provides a key element of security for Afghan and US forces.

The Indian Prime Minister himself along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the India-Afghanistan Friendship Dam (Salma Dam). The dam has an installed capacity of 42 MW and supplies water for irrigating 75,000 hectares of land. Since inauguration in 2016, the project has been generating electricity and releasing water for irrigation. The new Afghan Parliament is built with Indian support.

On capacity building, more than 3500 Afghans undergoing various training programmes in India. New Delhi also offers 500 Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) slots to Afghanistan annually.

When it comes to humanitarian assistance, India has supplied of 1.1 million MT of wheat to Afghanistan. The Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health IGICH - a 400-bed hospital is the main hospital in Afghanistan and caters to the well-being of children from all across Afghanistan.

The direct air freight corridor between India and Afghanistan established in 2017 has increased market for Afghan good in India.