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India Deepens Humanitarian Engagement with Afghanistan, Explores Trade Opportunities

March 10, 2024 12:18 pm

India Deepens Humanitarian Engagement with Afghanistan, Explores Trade Opportunities

In a strategic move to strengthen ties and extend support, India has been actively facilitating and coordinating humanitarian assistance endeavors in Afghanistan since June 2022, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The Indian technical mission in Kabul, established in June 2022, has played a pivotal role in this ongoing initiative.

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal, during a recent media briefing, emphasized India’s historical and civilizational ties with the Afghan people, asserting that these enduring connections guide the nation’s approach towards Afghanistan. Furthermore, Jaiswal announced that an Indian delegation, led by Joint Secretary Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran in the Ministry of External Affairs, is currently on a visit to Afghanistan.

During their visit, the delegation engaged in meetings with senior members of the Afghan authorities, including former president Hamid Karzai, officials from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, and members of the Afghan business community. Discussions primarily centered around India’s humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and explored the utilization of the Chabahar Port by Afghan traders.

Of note, Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary PAI Division, JP Singh, recently met with Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, appointed by the Taliban. Singh expressed New Delhi’s willingness to expand relations with Kabul and promote trade through the Chabahar Port. The meeting delved into in-depth discussions on bilateral Afghanistan-India relations, economic and transit matters, as well as collaborative efforts in combating the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) and addressing corruption in Afghanistan.

Singh highlighted India’s keen interest in expanding political and economic cooperation with Afghanistan and enhancing trade via the Chabahar Port. Minister Muttaqi, in turn, expressed gratitude for India’s humanitarian assistance and expressed a shared commitment to strengthen political and economic relations between the two countries.

In its continued efforts to assist Afghanistan, India supplied 40,000 litres of Malathion, a pesticide used to combat locust infestations, through the Chabahar Port on January 23. This move underscores India’s multifaceted engagement with Afghanistan, focusing not only on humanitarian aid but also on exploring economic and trade opportunities for mutual benefit.

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