More than 7.7 million Afghan children have received polio vaccination, throughout most provinces of the country, on Sunday, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said in a statement on Tuesday.
More than 7.7 million Afghan children have received polio vaccination, throughout most provinces of the country, on Sunday, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The campaign has not yet started in Bamyan, Ghour, and Daikundi provinces and some districts due to climate issues, but will soon start in those areas, the statement said.
The statement said the ministry has planned to kick-off two polio vaccination drives across the country.
The public health minister, Suraya Dalil, said in the statement that “the vaccination campaign started for three days and nearly 57,000 people work for the vaccination.”
Earlier this year, officials discovered the first polio case in Kabul since 2001, in a three-year-old girl. The girl, Sakina, was taken to Pakistan for treatment.
Afghanistan has progressed extensively in eradicating the virus but the country has yet to fully overcome the issue.
This year Afghanistan recorded two cases of polio in Kabul, Laghman and Badakhshan provinces. All families are cautioned to vaccinate children younger than five.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria are the only three countries in the world where polio has yet to be fully eradicated.
There were 80 polio cases in Afghanistan in 2011, 37 in 2012 and just 14 in 2013.
Most cases of polio in Afghanistan are said to occur on the Afghan-Pakistani border in the country’s eastern provinces.
PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Pakistani Government, both have agreed on ‘ceasefire’ in order to facilitate peace talks, The Eastern Tribune’s correspondent learnt on Sunday. The agreement on ceasefire would be announced through official channels in next few days.
“It’s the first time that a member of TTP Shura (Executive Committee) Qari Shakeel got involved directly in committees’ meeting and participated in initial talks through telephone”, a senior official related to the matter revealed. It is learnt that Qari Shakeel participated through phone from an unknown location in Afghanistan.
According to the sources, all issues related to talks between Pakistani Taliban and Government of Pakistan were discussed in long sessions spread over 3 days between the committees endorsed by TTP and Pakistani Government. The lengthy meetings resulted in an agreement to stop attacks from both sides of the conflict. A formal announcement of ceasefire would be made first by TTP and then by Government of Pakistan.
Earlier, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) chief Sami-ul-Haq had appealed to the government and Taliban to announce a ceasefire while Irfan Siddiqui, the head of government’s committee, said that “The government committee is waiting not only for Taliban’s announcement of a ceasefire, but TTP will also have to give an assurance to abide by their announcement.” “The committee would appeal to the government for a ceasefire after Taliban’s announcement,” he added.
After this demand by Sami-ul-Haq and Irfan Siddiqui, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) asked for two days to decide on a ceasefire and also demanded a similar ceasefire from government. Government’s representative assured them that after the ceasefire’s announcement from TTP, government would also make an statement in this regard.
“Talks with TTP has made some headway after the group agreed to cease attacks during the dialogue process,” a senior official revealed.
After getting assurances from the government endorsed peace talks committee, TTP had convened a meeting to brainstorm government’s demand pertaining to ceasefire and finally decided to go ahead with it but did not make any announcement. However, TTP Shura mentioned their decision to the ‘Taliban committee’, who are a proxy for talks with the government representatives.
.India on Monday declared itself a polio-free country for the third consecutive year without a single new case of the disease and braced itself for the March-end review by WHO to declare the entire south-east Asia region polio free.
"It is a matter of pride for the nation that not a single case of polio has been detected in the three years. This is one of India’s monumental and biggest milestone achieved, through a massive and sustained immunization programme," health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
"India accounted for half of all the cases of polio reported globally in 2009. Within four and half years, we have been able to eradicate the crippling disease," Azad said adding that 36 months ago the last case was reported on January 13, 2011 when a two-year-old girl suffered polio paralysis in Howrah district of West Bengal. 741 cases were reported in 2009, 42 in 2010 and one case in 2011.
Historically, India has been the largest endemic reservoir of polio in the world with between 50,000 to 100,000 paralytic polio cases occurring each year between 1978 and 1995. It has also been one of the main sources of polio importation for other countries.
Speaking about this important milestone for the country, WHO Representative to India, Dr Nata Menabde, said, “This landmark is a great credit to the strong commitment and leadership of the Government of India.”
"Credit also goes to the government’s strong partnership with WHO, Rotary and UNICEF as also the millions of frontline workers - the vaccinators, social mobilizers and community and health workers - who continue to implement innovative strategies to rid India of polio," she added.
Three years of being polio free is a notable milestone for the country as a whole, but the success of the immunization and awareness campaign has had a wider impact - with this achievement, it is hoped that soon the entire South-East Asia Region can be considered certifiably free from polio. A commission of experts will meet at the World Health Organization offices at the end of March to analyze the data and determine the polio status for the Region.
An official function to celebrate the occasion will he held on 11 February in which President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and WHO Director General Margaret Chan along with international NGOs will be present.
On the issue of risks of infection from neighbouring countries, Azad said “right from the beginning, we have vaccinating the children coming from Pakistan when they would cross the border. There are some other neighbouring countries from where people come here by air and we have already issued advisories a few months back that they will not be allowed to come unless they have been vaccinated in their respective countries.
He further said his next focus is going to on non-communicable dieses, that is cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases.
Polio or infantile paralysis, is a viral, infectious disease which spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route. Polio, which usually infects children under the age of five, can be prevented by vaccine and has been eliminated in most countries.
The disease still causes paralysis and death in some parts of the world including Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The move came almost a week after Mehsud was killed in the drone attack in North Waziristan on Friday.
Mullah Fazlullah, the militant commander who ordered the assassination of teenage activist Malala Yusufzai, was on Thursday named by the Pakistani Taliban as its new chief to replace Hakimullah Mehsud, killed in a U.S. drone strike last week.
The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan elected Fazlullah as its new chief, commander Asmatullah Shaheen was quoted as saying by Pakistani news channels. The move came almost a week after Mehsud was killed in the drone attack in North Waziristan on Friday.
Fazlullah, nicknamed “Mullah Radio” for his fiery sermons on an illegal FM station, led a parallel administration in the northwestern Swat Vally till the Pakistan Army sent troops into the region to flush out militants in early 2009.
He fled with hundreds of his fighters to Afghanistan, from where he ordered the attempt on the life of Malala Yusufzai.
The teenager survived despite being shot in the head by a Taliban fighter and was taken to Britain for treatment.
Fazlullah came to prominence as a leader of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah-e-Mohammadi and later became the head of the Taliban in Swat Valley, located 160 km from Islamabad.
He led a brutal rule in the region during 2007-09 and was accused of personally ordering the killing of scores of people, including women. He often announced his fatwas and orders for executing people on his radio broadcasts.
The Taliban Shura or council had initially agreed on Khan Syed alias Sajna as the new chief during a meeting in South Waziristan but later withheld the decision due to opposition from commanders belonging to Nuristan.
The Taliban then named Shehryar Mehsud and Asmatullah Shaheen as caretaker chiefs before Fazlullah was named the new head of the TTP.
KABUL (Reuters) - The man said to be responsible for bringing al Qaeda to Afghanistan announced he was running for president on Thursday, a move likely to be greeted with apprehension by the international community. President Hamid Karzai is barred from running by the constitution, and the new government is seen as an opportunity to push the country away from years of damaging allegations of corruption and maladministration
Indian national Sushmita Banerjee, whose memoir about her dramatic escape from the Taliban was turned into a Bollywoodfilm, was shot dead in Afghanistan by militants, police said today.
Banerjee, 49, was killed outside her home in Paktika province. She was married to Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan and recently moved back to Afghanistan to live with him.
Taliban militants arrived at her home in the provincial capital of Kharana, tied up her husband and other members of the family, took Banerjee out and shot her, police were quoted as saying by BBC.
The militants dumped Banerjee’s body near a religious school, police said.
A senior police official said Banerjee, also known as Sayed Kamala, was working as ahealth worker in Paktika and had been filming the lives of local women as part of her work.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Banerjee’s book “Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou” (A Kabuliwala’s Bengali Wife), about her escape from the Taliban in 1995, became a bestseller in India and was made into the Bollywood film “Escape From Taliban” in 2003.
The memoir focussed on her life in Afghanistan with her husband and her escape from the militants. The film based on the book starred actress Manisha Koirala and was billed as a “story of a woman who dares (the) Taliban”.
Banerjee also wrote about her experiences in Afghanistan for Outlook magazine. She went to Afghanistan in 1989 after marrying Khan, whom she met in Kolkata.
She wrote that “life was tolerable until the Taliban crackdown in 1993”, when militants ordered her to close a dispensary she was running from her house, and “branded me a woman of poor morals”.
She wrote that she escaped “sometime in early 1994” but her brothers-in-law tracked her down to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, where she went to seek help from the Indian High Commission. They took her back to Afghanistan.
"They promised to send me back to India. But they did not keep their promise. Instead, they kept me under house arrest and branded me an immoral woman. The Taliban threatened to teach me a lesson. I knew I had to escape," she wrote.
Shortly after that, she tried to escape from her husband’s home, three hours from Kabul.
"One night, I made a tunnel through the mud walls of the house and fled. Close to Kabul, I was arrested. A 15-member group of the Taliban interrogated me. Many of them said that since I had fled my husband’s home I should be executed. However, I was able to convince them that since I was an Indian I had every right to go back to my country," Banerjee wrote.
"The interrogation continued through the night. The next morning I was taken to the Indian embassy from where I was given a safe passage. Back in Calcutta, I was re-united with my husband.”
No Home For Afghan Sikhs
Outsiders may have trouble distinguishing between the turbans worn by Afghan Sikhs, with their tighter folds, varied colours and tucked-in edges, and those worn by Afghan Muslims, usually black or white with the end hanging down the wearer’s back.
The subtle differences, however, and what they represent, have fuelled widespread discrimination against Afghan Sikhs, members of the community say, prompting many to move away amid concern that the once-vibrant group could disappear.
“For anyone who understands the differences in turbans, we really stand out,” said Daya Singh Anjaan, 49, an Afghan Sikh who fled the capital, Kabul, for India after seeing his Sikh neighbours slain. “I’m sure the remaining Afghan Sikhs will vanish soon. Survival’s becoming impossible.”
There are no exact records on when Sikhs, a 500-year-old monotheistic people from western India and modern-day Pakistan, arrived in Afghanistan, although most accounts place it around 200 years ago. Mostly traders, they prospered and numbered about 50,000 by the early 1990s, concentrated in Jalalabad, Kabul, Kandahar and Ghazni.
But decades of war, instability and intolerance have fuelled waves of emigration, reducing the community to just 372 families nationwide, said Awtar Singh Khalsa, association president of the Karte Parwan gurdwara, or temple. This is the last of eight gurdwaras that once operated in Kabul, he said.
During the Afghan civil war of the mid-1990s, most of Kabul’s solidly constructed gurdwaras were appropriated by battling warlords who shelled one another, destroying seven of them along with a Sikh school that once taught 1,000 students. Under Taliban rule, Sikhs had to wear yellow patches, reminiscent of the Jews under Nazi rule, and fly yellow flags over their homes and shops.
Among the goals laid out by the United States and its allies after toppling the Taliban government in 2001 was religious tolerance for minorities, who account for about 1 per cent of Afghanistan’s population.
In practice, Sikhs say, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s weak and embattled government rarely counters prejudice by the majority population, which emboldens attackers. Hooligans rob, insult and spit at them on the street, they say, order them to remove their turbans and try to steal their land.
Particularly dispiriting, Afghan Sikhs say, are charges by the Muslim majority that they should “go home,” even though they have lived in Afghanistan for generations and are protected, at least theoretically, by freedom-of-religion safeguards in the Afghan Constitution.
Another disturbing example of the indignities they face is the treatment of their dead, many said. Cremation, a tenet of the Sikh faith, has been quietly practised in Kabul’s eastern district of Qalacha for more than a century.
In recent years, however, some Sikhs who have tried to carry out cremations have been beaten up, stoned and otherwise blocked from doing so, at times decried as statue-worshipping infidels whose ceremonies “smell”. Islam considers cremation a sacrilege.
Many Sikhs said they have complained repeatedly to the government to little avail. “In the last decade, the Kabul government has specified ten different places for Sikh burials and cremations, but villagers keep giving Sikhs problems,” said Anarkali Honaryar, a senator representing the community. “Even when President Karzai issued a decree, nothing changed.”
While in New Delhi in May, Karzai said that Sikhs are a valued part of Afghanistan and that he was sorry so many had left. “We’ll do our best to bring the Sikh community and Hindus back to Afghanistan,” he said.
Sikhs, Jews and other minorities enjoyed tolerance and relative prosperity until the late 1970s when decades of war, oppression and infighting set in. Although many Muslim families have also suffered hugely, Sikhs say they have faced worse pressures as a minority subject to forced religious conversions and frequent kidnapping, given their limited political protection and reputation for being prosperous.
Pritpal Singh, an Afghan-born Sikh living in England who has documented the plight of Afghan Sikhs, said his brother was kidnapped shortly before the family left in 1992.
“I really looked up to him; it was such a shock,” he said. “They asked for crazy money and we couldn’t pay, so they killed him.”
As conditions worsened, Sikhs turned increasingly inwards, building a high wall around the last gurdwara to prevent passers-by from stoning the building, and cremating their dead inside, normally unthinkable, to stem angry mobs.
Khalsa said he has met repeatedly with Karzai but nothing changes, and meetings with bureaucrats and politicians often end with demands for money.
“Corruption is unbelievable,” Khalsa said. “The Taliban were far better than this government.”
For those emigrating, India and Pakistan visas are much easier to secure than those to Europe, so some stop there first, then travel illegally to the West.
Although securing a short-term visitor visa to India is relatively easy, obtaining citizenship is a “nightmare” given India’s bureaucracy and general indifference, said Paramjit Singh Sarna, an Indian community leader in New Delhi assisting Afghan Sikhs. It does not help that Sikhism originated in India and that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a Sikh.
Sarna said many Afghan Sikhs live in limbo in India. As “outsiders”, they are unable to buy land or work, their travel is restricted, their children born stateless.
Dhyan Singh, a 62-year-old Afghan Sikh who has lived in New Delhi since 1989, said he misses Afghanistan despite the problems.
“Just last night, I dreamt I visited the Kabul gurdwara,” Singh said. “It’s only fear that keeps me away.”
–Los Angeles Times
With the U.S. and its allies planning to scale down their military efforts significantly in Afghanistan in 2014, a dangerous neighborhoodâfilled with nuclear weapons, disputed borders, as well as ethnic and tribal divisionsâhas the potential to become even more threatening. Historian William Dalrymple examines one ominous scenario, which could be disastrous for both the region and the world: the contest between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan becoming even more deadly.
Click the link to read the entire story.
KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban announced on Tuesday that they were prepared to take the first step toward peace negotiations with the Afghan government after 12 years of war, and American officials said that they would meet with Taliban representatives in Qatar within the week to start the process.
If talks begin, it will be the first time that the antagonists in the Afghanistan war have undertaken negotiations to end the conflict, begun in 2001 when American forces entered the country to rout Al Qaeda. Efforts to get such talks started have long been stalled, hijacked by conflicting demands from the main parties with long-term goals in Afghanistan: the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai, the exiled Taliban leadership, the United States and Pakistan.
In a televised speech announcing the opening of a Taliban political office in Doha, the capital of Qatar, Mohammed Naim, a Taliban spokesman, said that their political and military goals “are limited to Afghanistan” and that they did not wish to “harm other countries.”
Senior Obama administration officials in Washington said the Taliban statement contained two crucial pledges: that the insurgents believed that Afghan soil should not be used to threaten other countries — an indirect reference to Al Qaeda’s sheltering in Afghanistan with the Taliban regime’s blessing before the Sept. 11 attacks — and that they were committed to finding a peaceful solution to the war.
“Together, they fulfill the requirement for the Taliban to open a political office in Doha for the purposes of negotiation with the Afghan government,” a senior administration official said.
American officials had long insisted that the Taliban make both pledges before talks start. The first element, in particular, is vital — it represents the beginning of what is hoped will be the Taliban’s eventual public break with Al Qaeda, the officials said. The ultimate goal of such talks, from a Western and Afghan government point of view, would be to persuade the Taliban to disarm and accept the Afghan Constitution. But officials warned that many hurdles remained in what was sure to be a long process.
President Obama called the Taliban’s announcement “an important first step towards reconciliation.”
But “it is a very early step,” Mr. Obama said at a meeting with President François Hollande of France at a Group of 8 summit meeting in Northern Ireland. “We anticipate there will be a lot of bumps in the road.”
In the next step, United States officials said, American envoys will meet later this week with Taliban representatives in Qatar. Members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, which is to represent the government in talks, will then sit down with the insurgents.
But the first meetings will probably feature little more than an exchange of agendas, another senior administration official said, cautioning against expectations for the talks to yield substantive results any time soon. Indeed, one major obstacle for the peace process has been the outright refusal of Taliban negotiators to talk directly with Mr. Karzai’s administration.
“There is no guarantee that this will happen quickly, if at all,” the official said.
President Karzai referred to the impending opening of the office earlier in comments at a ceremony celebrating the transfer of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces from the American-led multinational forces in Afghanistan.
While he signaled his acceptance of the office’s opening, Mr. Karzai has repeatedly said that the talks must be Afghan-led, implying that the neither the United States nor the Pakistanis should be interlocutors. And he wants the talks held in Afghanistan.
Both demands are difficult to meet. Realistically both Pakistan and the United States have to be guarantors of any peace effort. Ultimately it is the United States that has bargaining chips — the Taliban prisoners that it holds at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — that might help bring the Taliban to the table. And Pakistan, as the home of most of the Taliban leadership and as the place where they have been able to receive funding and training for the fight, would have to play a role in encouraging the Taliban and backing their participation in a peace plan.
As for relocating the peace talks in Kabul, the Taliban are opposed to that because they feel they would be at an immediate disadvantage on the turf of their opponents, the Afghan government.
“The president should not use the term ‘immediately’ or ‘as soon as possible’ in talking about moving the peace negotiations to Afghanistan,” said Sayed Agha Akbar, a onetime Taliban commander now living in Kabul.
“Using such inflammatory words would be a serious blow to the peace talks at the moment when they are about to start.”
The Taliban statement on Monday said that in addition to initial negotiations, the Doha office would be used to explain the group’s views to other countries, and to meet with representatives of the United Nations and with regional, international and nongovernmental organizations. The Taliban also said they planned to give media statements about the current political situation.
Mr. Karzai’s concern is that the Taliban will use the office as a forum to try to re-establish their political legitimacy, especially in international circles, rather than confining the office to peace talks.
“Peace is the desire of the people of Afghanistan,” Mr. Karzai said at a Kabul news conference after the transfer ceremony. “Peace is a hope that the people of Afghanistan make sacrifices for every day.”
Talks between the United States and the Taliban “can help advance the process, but the core of it is going to be negotiations among Afghans and the level of trust on both sides is extremely low, as one would expect,” the second senior Obama administration official said. “So it is going to be a long, hard process if indeed it advances significantly at all.”
A decade-and-a-half ago, his legendary uncle had stood like a rock against the waves of Taliban fundamentalism sweeping through his motherland. On Friday, Ahmad Zubair Massoud, nephew of Ahmad Shah Massoud, earned his first formal military qualification — and vowed to put it to use in a manner that the Lion of Panjshir himself would have applauded.
Soon after Zubair graduated from the National Defence Academy (NDA), his sister Nilofar tweeted Friday, “Congrats to the youngest member of our family @ZubairMassoud to graduate from the military academy!” Zubair’s bio on his own Twitter profile reads, “Currently studying in the National Defence Academy, India. Soon to be an Officer in the ANA Afghan National Army”.
As the US pulls combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, Zubair will be ready to be commissioned into the country’s national army as second lieutenant, carrying forward a hallowed family legacy. Between now and then, he will take advanced lessons in military training from a finishing academy either in India or in Afghanistan.
In many ways, Zubair’s destiny as a military man was pre-decided at birth in the Massoud-Rabbani family in 1989. “Though I was very small, I grew up hearing stories of the bravery of my uncle Ahmad Shah Massoud. His armed opposition to the Taliban has been my inspiration to take up the profession of arms,” Zubair said.
Zubair’s father Ahmad Zia Massoud, who was vice-president of Afghanistan in the first government of President Hamid Karzai, added, “My brother was a national hero. His life has been the main inspiration for my son.”
Ahmad Shah Massoud was a central figure in the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation, and later became the political and military commander of the Northern Alliance which fought against the Taliban in the late nineties. He was assassinated by al-Qaeda suicide bombers two days before the 9/11 attacks on the US.
Kabul: Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai will be on a two-day visit to India starting Monday. He will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on enhancing strategic ties, security and developmental work in the run-up to next year’s withdrawal of western troops. As Afghanistan braces for 2014, we travelled extensively in the AfPak region to find out whether the proposed end of war would impact India.
Braving for 2014, whether the exit of western troops will end the war in Afghanistan or start a fresh round of violence is a million dollar question, an important one for India’s security concerns as well.
After the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Pakistan pushed the trained jihadis to fight the insurgency in India. Kashmir saw its bloodiest decade. 9/11 made Pakistan, America’s ally on the war against terror and gave birth to Pakistan Taliban - a group attacking Pakistan itself. Pakistan’s attention shifted to the western border and some experts believe Pakistan’s internal worries led to relative peace on its eastern front, one it shares with India.
Will Pakistan push the trained militants again in our direction?
Over the last decade India has earned immense good will in Afghanistan. At a certain point, the timing of soap opera ‘sans bhi kabhi bahu thi’, popularly known as ‘Tulsi’ here, coincided with the time of the prayers. This was taken up in the parliament of Afghanistan, so the shows timing could be adjusted. India has made friends across the ethnic groups through cultural connections and developmental work.
None of this pleases Pakistan. Rawalpindi has always thought of Afghanistan as a no go area for India, a strategic base for themselves in event of war against India. In the past Kashmir insurgents have received training in mountainous areas of Afghanistan.
Retired Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul of Pakistan’s army once headed the ISI. Credited in Pakistan for pushing hard line policies against India, he played a pivotal role in the insurgency that began in Kashmir.
He warns India of tomorrow’s reality. “Tomorrow’s reality is, if Afghan freedom fighters come out freely then they will give a fillip to the idea. It is going to kindle a new spirit, because yet another superpower has been defeated. They will think why we can’t do it, the Kashmiris will do it.”
In Afghanistan, the governor of Nuristan tells us, “Many border areas are full of anti-India groups. LeT is here, they are more powerful than Al Qaeda. If Afghanistan is a trouble area, if there is a war here, I think India will never feel safe. The war is going to come to their borders.”
Sources in the United States government have told NDTV, for months now the US has been trying to convey to India of a change of heart in Pakistan’s deep establishment, though most Afghan leaders like Amarullah Saleh, Afghanistan’s former chief of intelligence do not buy into that.
"They define Pakistan as a vulnerable country, which if truly put under pressure, may collapse. We don’t buy the argument. We see it as a calculative strategy. India should strengthen Afghanistan. Every spectacular attack in Afghanistan one way or another is linked to Rawal Pindi and every spectacular attack in India is linked to LeT. So why is the root of terrorism not drying up in our region? One primary reason is the ambiguity of the Western policy vis-a-vis Pakistan," said Amarullah Saleh.
India’s decision-makers acknowledge that India’s own internal security would be at risk especially if the drawdown of international troops from Afghanistan leaves behind a security vacuum that is filled by militant groups backed by Pakistan. India is aware of Pakistan’s sensitivities but is not shying away for defining it as a long-term relationship with Afghanistan. India’s former ambassador to Afghanistan confirms “In terms of being able to contribute more to Afghanistan security, to regional security through co-operative activities, yes that is possible. But as always it is something that has to be decided and we have to take into account their requirements, we have to take into account our capacities, and we have to take into account regional stability. So whatever we try to do, we would do in a responsible way in a responsible direction.”
The Afghans want India to play a bigger role, not only in developmental work and investments but also security cooperation. While president Karzai’s visit is unlikely to bring any major surprises, sources have told NDTV, India has not yet revealed its entire plan for Afghanistan. Policy they say is work in progress.
Pakistan’s new Prime Minister says Afghanistan would be left to Afghans and has made all the right noises on relationship with India. The big question, will his words become reality?