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Current Affairs

India’s Afghan investment

Date: 17 July 2021 Tags: India & World

Issue

India is facing an existential crisis in Afghanistan as Taliban pushes forward to capture the country post the departure of US and NATO forces.

 

Background

India had once been a major player in Afghanistan’s rebuilding. It had invested heavily in future diplomatic and personal ties.

 

Details

  • Afghanistan is the only country in South Asia and SAARC whose citizens admire Indians and have large affection.

  • The country is also vital to India strategically as it lies at the intersection of South Asia, West Asia and central Asia.

  • India had no diplomatic presence in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001. After US and its allies managed to capture the country, India also arrived.

  • India used developmental assistance as a way of increasing its presence and re-establish ties with the country. This was possible under US protection.

 

Afghanistan volatility

  • Afghanistan was ruled by monarchy before the invasion by Soviets in 1989 at the peak of cold war. The US backed Pakistani-trained Mujahids to fight Soviets.

  • The Mujahids captured the country and ruled with Iron fists in a mediaeval style combining Islamic laws with community traditions.

 

India’s contributions

  • India was involved in rebuilding of roads, electricity infrastructure, dams, government buildings, hospitals, community centers, sports stadiums etc.

  • India’s investments stand at a tune of $3 billion. They have not only come off the papers but have been successfully delivered on ground.

 

Major projects

Salma dam

This is also known as Afghan-India friendship dam and is located in Herat province. It was inaugurated in 2016 and is currently facing assault from Taliban.

 

Zaranj-Delaram Highway

The highway project connects Afghanistan’s border with Iran. It will be a vital link to connect Chabahar port in Iran, being developed by India.

 

Afghan Parliament

Afghan Parliament was built by India. It was inaugurated in 2015 and is a symbol of India’s long-standing friendship with Afghanistan.

 

Indira Gandhi Hospital

India built the hospital for treatment of Afghans. The biggest service was availability of Jaipur foot for individuals who lost their limbs to mine explosion.