Heart of Asia Summit: PM Modi says India committed towards welfare of Afghanistan
Aziz and Modi shared pleasantries in the conference, PM Modi has hour long bilateral talks with President Ghani
In the Heart of Asia conference being held in Amritsar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, while Pakistan Premier's foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz along with foreign ministers of four countries on Sunday called on him. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed the foreign ministers at the inauguration of Heart of Asia summit.
Addressing the leaders, Afghan Foreign Minsiter Salauddin Rabbani said that there's much that needs to be done to tackle challenges like terrorism and radicalism.
Rabbani also stressed on greater India-Afghanistan relationship. He also stated how India has helped build the Afghanistan parliament and the Salma Dam, officially known as the Afghan-Indian Friendship dam.
According to CNN-News18, Indian PM Modi and Afghan President Ghani discussed several topics of importance including the air-connectivity corridor for India-Afghan trade, and Pakistan. It has also been reported by Prasar Bharti that Afghanistan will seek enhanced supply of military hardware from India to strengthen its armed forces during the bilateral talk.
Pakistan had earlier rejected a road connectivity between the India and Afghanistan via the Wagah border even though Ghani had threatened to block Pakistan’s trade access to Central Asian States (CAS), if it did not allow Afghanistan to trade with India via the Wagah border.
Pakistan's Sartaz Aziz reached the conference earlier than planned, and raised questions on the purpose as reports still suggest that there would be no bilateral talks between India and Pakistan. Aziz and Modi shared pleasantries in the conference, while Aziz also sent his best wishes to Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India who is admitted in hospital for renal failure.
Modi welcomed the Foreign Ministers and stressed it was the collective responsibility of all those in the region to work together to help Afghanistan out of its current difficulties, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup told media.
The Prime Minister stated that his several interactions with both the common people of Afghanistan and the country's leadership had convinced him that the Afghan people were tired of the continuing violence and terrorism. Prime Minister Modi stressed on "the need to end terrorism and violence for fostering stability, security and development in Afghanistan and our region," Swarup said.
Agreeing with the Premier on the need to end violence in Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministers shared Prime Minister Modi's view that Afghanistan's stability, security and prosperity are integral to the region's, Swarup said.