India and Afghanistan are in close touch on the security situation in the region in the wake of various developments, particularly the change of government in Pakistan.
Afghanistan’s new National Security Advisor (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib had a meeting on Tuesday evening with Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar where they discussed relations between the two countries and regional security.
Kumar is believed to have underscored the importance of safety and security of Indian personnel involved in development projects in Afghanistan. The Afghan NSA assured him that his country would do everything it could to provide safety to every foreigner working in Afghanistan.
The meeting between the two came just a day after Mohib was named as the new Afghan NSA to replace Mohammad Hanif Atmar, who unexpectedly resigned from the post. The two senior officials also discussed the upcoming high-level visits between the two countries.
According to knowledgeable sources, Kumar also reiterated India’s firm commitment to help Afghanistan stand on its own feet. In this context, the two sides are learnt to have reviewed the progress on various projects going on in Afghanistan with India’s assistance.
It is learnt that a high-level Indian delegation will visit Afghanistan soon to discuss economic projects to be undertaken with Indian assistance in the war-torn nation in fields like water, energy, infrastructure and manufacturing. These projects include the Shahtoot Dam, low-cost housing for the refugees returning to Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan, polyclinic in Mazar-e-Sharif, construction of road connecting Band-e-Amir in Bamyan Province to the Bamyan-Yakawlang Highway and others.
India has also decided to organise the 2nd ‘India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Show’ in Mumbai from 12-15 September with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in view of the success of the first such event held in New Delhi last year.
Contracts worth more than $27 million were signed between Indian buyers and Afghan vendors for both raw and processed agricultural products. In addition, a number of Indian buyers and Afghan vendors signed MOUs valued at nearly $214 million during the four-day event, and more than $10 million worth of carpets, gemstones, jewellery, marble, and food-related products were sold.
This year’s event in Mumbai promises to build on the first show’s success and expand its impact by reaching beyond India.
Afghan investors from different sectors, including Afghan luxury goods, agriculture, energy, health and education, and mining and heavy industry will attend the show.