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No hurdle for India-run projects in Afghanistan: Economy Ministry

KABUL: Following reports about stoppage of work on a number of uplift projects run by India in parts of Afghanistan, the Economy Ministry on Wednesday termed the reports as unfounded, and said the run projects have not faced any hurdles so far.

India has contributed different small and big projects in several parts of Afghanistan and has shown its sincerity in relations with the government and the people of Afghanistan.

Radio Azadi quoted the acting economy minister, Hakim Khan Habibi, as saying that there is no snag for uplifts projects run by India in bordering provinces of Afghanistan.

Hinting at the fact that security challenges deter uplift projects in the country, he said that none of the projects is faced with obstacles as there are 251 small projects and 34 big projects run by India countrywide.

He further said the Indian-funded projects worth at least $57 million.

He mentioned that work on survey of 117 uplift projects funded by India was kicked off and would be implemented in near future.

Reports said recently that work on a number of uplift projects run by India was stopped in bordering provinces of Afghanistan. The reports also said that a number of India-run projects were stopped due to insecurity in Khost, Paktia, Kunar and Badakhshan provinces.

India has been a good friend and ally of Afghanistan in political and economic eras in a period of more than a decade after the topple of the Taliban regime in 2001.

The Salma Dam project in Herat, extraction of Hajigak iron ore in Bamiyan and construction of new building for the Afghan parliament are the major projects funded by India.

A number of analysts stressed on strengthening political and economic ties with India, and said they were in favor of improving Kabul-New Delhi relations in different fields.

“Having trade and economic relations with regional countries particularly India has great importance for Afghanistan. The new government should establish a team with high commitments aimed at attracting the attention of regional countries and strengthening ties with them,” said Samim Rahpaya, analyst and lecturer in Kabul University.

Security challenges and endemic corruption in public offices are main barriers for uplift projects and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan that need serious attention by the government, he suggested.

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