India-backed varsity in former Taliban base a breakthrough

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by feathers, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    India-backed varsity in former Taliban base a breakthrough: Salman Khurshid

    New Delhi: The establishment of war-torn Afghanistan's first agriculture university with India's help in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar is a breakthrough in Indo-Afghan strategic partnership, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said.

    "For India, a strong, prosperous and economically independent Afghanistan is a strategic priority and a key element of our Strategic Partnership Agreement," said Khurshid, who returned last night from Kandahar after inaugurating the Afghan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University (ANASTU) in the sprawling Tarnak farm.

    "We, therefore, see our participation in this Agriculture University project as an important activity of the India- Afghanistan strategic partnership," he said.

    Interestingly, the Tarnak farm was al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's main Afghan residence during much of the late 1990s. From there he oversaw al-Qaeda's plot to fly hijacked airliners into the World Trade Centre in New York and Pentagon in Washington in an attack that killed nearly 3,000 people.

    Khurshid noted that India has already offered 614 agricultural scholarships for Afghan students who are presently being trained at Indian agriculture institutes. He hoped that many of those being trained in India would one day return as professors to ANASTU in which India has invested up to USD 8 million.

    About 80 per cent of Afghan people depends on agriculture for livelihood. Also, nearly 60 per cent of GDP of the country is from the farm sector which still lacks modern agriculture practices.

    Khurshid said Afghan President Hamid Karzai treats the agriculture university as an "extremely important legacy issue for him."

    The Karzai government has transferred to the university 2,810 acres of land with irrigation facilities.

    "Generally it is a very breakthrough step that we have been able to take up in Afghanistan. It is a small beginning because it is a very difficult place both in terms of connectivity and safety and communications," he said.

    Khurshid is the first External Affairs Minister to visit Kandahar, the second largest city in Afghanistan, since 1999 when the then minister Jaswant Singh came with three terrorists released in exchange for the hostages of a hijacked Indian Airlines flight.

    The plane was hijacked during its flight from Kathmandu to Delhi on December 24 and the crisis ended with the hostages being released on January 1, 2000 in exchange for terrorists Maulana Masood Azhar, Omar Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar.

    In his speech at the inauguration of ANASTU yesterday, Khurshid recalled that Jaswant Singh had visited the city in "very difficult, different circumstances".

    "I recall that in 1999, my predecessor came to Kandahar in very difficult, very different circumstances," he said.

    "So I think, all in all, it was important, critical. He (Karzai) wanted to do it before he lays down office and was very glad that I was able to come," Khurshid said.

    Afghanistan is set to hold presidential election on April 5 ahead of the drawdown of US-led troops later this year.

    Earlier, speaking to Indian reporters in Kandahar, Karzai said the opening of the agriculture university was a "significant" event in Afghanistan's history.

    "India has taken yet one more significant step in helping Afghanistan," he said, noting that India had given aid worth USD 2 billion though it is not a traditional donor.

    PTI

    First Published: Sunday, February 16, 2014, 16:27
     
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  3. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    India will help the people of Afghanistan and India's central Asia policy will address all the problems in that area. At the same time trade and cultural ties will be revived and strengthened.

    Chabahar port will play a key role.

    The co operation involves

    1) Strengthening of Democratic institutions so that people will not fall prey for radicalism.
    2) Empowering the youth and women of Afghanistan particularly Taliban controlled areas.
    3) IT co operation.
    4) Co operation in the area of space and satellite technology.
    5) Trade and mining.
    6) Health sector this involves establishing health facilities and hospitals in Rural areas.
    7) Military training.
    8) Setting up infrastructure.

    All and all India will work hard to make Afghanistan a peaceful and prosperous nation this also involves Billions of dollars of aid to Afghanistan.
     
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  4. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    I think it is high time to free Delaram-Zaranj highway we built, from the pestering Talibs who've made it completely unsafe to conduct any business via that road.
    Initiatives like this road and the varsity need to realize their ultimate objective. In the long run, they are only a medium after all.
     
  5. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of India and even the whole region.
     
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  6. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    India's policy of Central Asia involves work for decades to come and some Diplomacy is going on, I hope a break through will be achieved.
     
  7. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    i think its better to let Afghan Government solve that Delaram Zaranj Highway issue from where smuggling is going on.

    Agriculture university with India's help in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar do show that Afghans doesn't considers India as enemy and are willing to work with India.
     
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  8. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    with US forces leaving the country, it is definitely beneficial to india and the whole region, but will the chinese and pakis simply sit aside i wonder. I believe there are atleast some elements in pakistan and China who would not see the role of India in the region nicely....
     
  9. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Here i am not saying that Afghans should let only India not others. its on Afghans to decide and understand who really are there real friends. Those who wants to give them education, development or those who wants them to fight and destroy their whole nation. Regional countries have to work together which will benefit all in the region.
     
  10. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    India will play the key role and flatten any hurdles in its path.
     
  11. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    what about pakis ? they had pressurized afghans into not give india the MFN status.......will that happen again in other cases when india's influence grows higher ?
     
  12. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    Historically speaking all these 70 Years Pakistanis always ended up on the wrong side.

    This is about Building Afghanistan which is also in the interest of all the nations around it.

    Afghan people support India and want India to rebuild their country. It is related bringing change in the lives of millions of people of Afghanistan.

    Pakistan should stop all the BS talk of "startegic depth, religious war and etc...etc....", This is not the times of Afghan jihad where they can act as a hired gun of USA and fight for dollars.

    Yeah they can show what their capabilities are and how brave they are , on the other hand India's central Asian policy is like a Baptism for Young officers who are aspiring to lead India.

    India is the savior and India is working to end the misery of people of this region.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
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  13. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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  14. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Indian doctor happy to serve Afghans in former Taliban hub - The Times of India

    KANDAHAR: Set to complete a decade in this run-down former power hub of the Taliban, Dr Shah Nawaz, the 'lone Indian' here, is happy to serve the war-weary Afghan people in their medical needs.

    Nawaz, 45, working at a private hospital, says he is happy to serve the people in Kandahar, the southern province of Afghanistan, also the birthplace of the Taliban movement.

    Recalling his journey to Afghanistan, Nawaz said an Afghan businessman here who was into dry fruit business had contacts with his family in India and he often told him about the plight of people in Kandahar and their medical needs.

    "I then gave him a proposal to build a hospital. He (the businessman) was ready to invest and I expressed readiness to come to Afghanistan and serve the people," Nawaz told .

    "People here are very simple, their needs are very limited. Actually even basic treatment is not available," said Nawaz, who hails from Maharashtra.

    "I am here since August 2005. My family is not here. They are in Malaysia. I visit them twice or thrice in a year, and they come once in a year to India," he said.

    Officials said Nawaz was the only Indian working in the city apart from a handful of staff at the Indian Consulate in Kandahar city, which was the headquarters of the erstwhile Taliban regime during 1996-2001.

    About life in Kandahar, Nawaz said though he was the only Indian working in the city, a number of his compatriots were employed in a huge US military base here.

    Sources said the Indians working at the US base come through Dubai and are not registered with the Consulate.

    India last week helped Afghanistan establish its first agriculture university here as part of a major capacity- building project to help the war-torn country to increase farm output and attain economic independence.

    The Afghan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University (ANASTU) coming up in the sprawling Tarnak farm in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar was an important activity of the India-Afghanistan strategic partnership.

    Interestingly, the Tarnak farm was slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden's main Afghan residence during much of the late 1990s. From there he oversaw al-Qaeda's plot to fly hijacked airliners into the World Trade Centre in New York and Pentagon in Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people.
     
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