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Editorial: Hands of friendship

Due to rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, friends of the country are mulling how to support the Afghan government and prevent the insurgents from making gains. India is on top of all because despite different problems New Delhi never left Kabul alone. The people and government of India stood beside Afghan people and government in difficult times. From training Afghan security forces to powering energy-starving industries in Herat, India is ahead of all others. Relations between Afghanistan and India are not new but are as old as the hills. In December 1915, the Indian government-in-exile was established in Kabul. Afghans supported the Indian nationalists against the British Empire, super power of the time.

Cultural, trade and historical relations are part of the glories past of the two countries. To support democracy and development process in Afghanistan, India was the first non-NATO member country which came to the fore to train and assist the war-hit country in almost every sector. No doubt that the United States has been major ally of the country because it toppled the Taliban regime to restore democracy in the country and support human rights. The US has played key role in development of the country by providing billions of dollars in cash and assistance. Concerned about the recent development in Afghanistan, both the US and India have agreed to work jointly to strengthen the Afghan government.

Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, said the US and India have discussed developments in the region in general and in Afghanistan in particular.  High-ranking Afghan, Indian and American officials will meet in September at the sidelines of the United Nations meetings in New York to discuss Afghanistan’s situation.  Keeping the strategic gains made by the Taliban in recent months, the tripartite meeting would help the Afghan government in several ways. As the militants are supported by state actors of certain countries, the meeting will send a message to the anti-Afghanistan elements that Kabul is not alone in the war against extremism and terrorism.

However, it is very unfortunate that some countries in the region express only concerns regarding growing insurgency in Afghanistan. They come to front when they see their own interests or stability at stake. Such policies will not restore peace and stability. These countries with strong influence on Afghanistan’s neighbor shall speak against terrorism and all those who support the enemies of peace in the region. The time is ripe for the like-minded leaders to join hands against terrorism in the region and support Afghanistan.

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