Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
meeting President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, in New Delhi on
October 04, 2011.
India, Afghanistan to sign key strategic, economic pacts
n a clear message to Pakistan, India
and Afghanistan Tuesday will sign a landmark strategic partnership
agreement that could include a role for India in training Afghan
security forces. The two countries will also add greater economic »
New Delhi: A day after
he signed a landmark strategic pact with India, Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday sought to ease concern in Islamabad, saying
the accord won't harm relations with Pakistan.
"Pakistan is our twin brother, India is a great friend. The
agreement we signed with our friend will not affect our brother,"
Karzai said in a speech on India-Afghanistan relations here.
"This strategic partnership is not directed against any country...
This strategic partnership is to support Afghanistan," he said in
a message aimed at Islamabad that sees New Delhi's expanding
relations with Kabul with suspicion and unease.
"Neither India nor Afghanistan intend the pact to be beyond the
two countries," he said.
Karzai stressed that the pact, which envisages an annual security
dialogue and deeper ties across the political and economic
spectrum, will enable Afghanistan to benefit from "India's
strength" and help it to train its police and youths.
In an attempt to allay Pakistan's worries, Karzai resisted pointed
questions on Kabul's fraying relations with Islamabad, saying
Pakistan was also "suffering from exactly the same menace
(terrorism) as we are".
"It's relevant that Pakistan and Afghanistan sit down and discuss
who is causing it (terrorism). We can find a way out of the
unfortunate environment of suspicion," he said.
Outlining his vision of Afghanistan as a trade and transit hub,
Karzai said he believed in the region "where there are no borders
and where the youth's energies re channelized for the prosperity
"This region has massive potential for growth. At the same time,
this region has the most negative trends," said Karzai, while
stressing on the need to jointly combat terrorism.
Karzai was delivering the third R.K. Mishra Memorial lecture,
organised by the Observer Research Foundation, at the Maurya
Sheraton hotel here.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who chaired the lecture,
stressed that India will continue to be Afghanistan's partner in
peace and development in accordance with Afghan priorities.
Karzai headed to Kabul after wrapping up his two-day visit to