Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday assured former Afghan President Hamid Karzai that his government would extend greater strategic support and cooperation to the war-torn nation.

The Chief Minister conveyed this to Karzai when the latter called on him at his official residence here.

Karzai thanked the Chief Minister for inviting him to the Kisan Mela being held at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana city as the chief guest.

Afghanistan and Punjab share close cultural ties and could benefit through mutual cooperation and exchange of technical know-how in the fields of agriculture and horticulture, an official statement quoted Karzai as saying.

The visiting dignitary called for further cementing the traditional bonds of peace and brotherhood between Afghanistan and India, particularly Punjab.

The Chief Minister said since Afghanistan and India shared warm and friendly historical relations, Punjab would be happy to provide all the possible assistance for the development of Afghanistan.

The Chief Minister, who presented Karzai with a set of books authored by him and a shawl as a token of love and affection, also invited him to visit his hometown Patiala on his next visit to see the rich heritage of the historic city.

The former Afghanistan President was accompanied by former Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani, his Education and Cultural Advisor Zalmani Hewadmai and Gautam Sabharwal.