By: Laiq Zirack
Ever since the collapse of Taliban in 2001, India has immensely shown its interest in deepening its ties with the landlocked Afghanistan and has contributed significantly to infrastructural projects agricultural development, education and investment in naturally rich Afghanistan. India’s interest to move Afghanistan toward peace and prosperity and draw Kabul to a closer embrace cannot be overstated. Recently the Afghan–India relations marked a milestone when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated The Afghan–India Friendship Dam previously called the Salma Dam, built with Indian aids in Herat Province, Afghanistan.
In a country that has suffered for 30 years and all fundamentals have been destroyed and vanished, so then even if a tiny improvement takes place it becomes very visible. India over the course of last 15 years has footmarked a series of opportunities and vital infrastructural projects in Afghanistan, that the Afghan Nation is very grateful for.
When On Dec 25, 2015, Narendra Modi arrived to Kabul and Inaugurated New Afghan Parliament building, built by India, Followed by on 25 May, 2016 signing the pact between India, Iran and Afghanistan to develop the strategically located Chabahar port in Iran, which will connect Afghanistan to the Indian continent and the rest of the world. And recently on 4 June,2016 Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Afghan – India friendship Dam, also known as Salma Dam, these and other infrastructural projects by India that have been remained economically very profitable to aid-dependent landlocked country, have got a serious attention of appreciation of the Afghan Nation.
On the eve of Inaugurating the India–Afghan Friendship Dam, Narendra Modi tweeted in Pashto and Dari languages, in order to confirm his arrival to Herat province, Afghanistan; was massively shared and applauded in Afghan social media.
The involvement of India in Afghanistan have been seen very positive and welcoming, in fact, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on his facebook to announce his participation in the inaugurating ceremony of The Afghan-India Friendship Dam received thousands of comments of gratitude and appreciation on behalf of afghans.
“Thanks for coming sir and we do appreciate what India has done to Afghanistan”. Commented Khushal Asefi, on Saturday 4 June, 2016.
Some of the Afghans welcomed Narendra Modi to his second home:
“Thank you, Mr. Modi, most welcome to your second home Afghanistan we are a nation that we never forget Indian’s love and help. Salute to Indian lovely people and special to you, Second Gandhi of this world”. Commented Israr Lodin, On Saturday, 4 June 2016
The sour relation between Afghan-Pak and India–Pak has made the India–Afghan relations very close and friendly. All three nations India, Pakistan and Afghanistan have border issues that have made the situations politically very tensed. Pakistan and India over Kashmir and Afghanistan and Pakistan over Durand line have unresolved territorial muddles, and this have made Afghans to prefer India other than neighboring Pakistan.
Another facebooker has commented on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s post in facebook:
“India is a non-Muslim country, but they helped us (Afghan) a lot as compared to Muslim countries and also didn’t try to transfer terrorism to this land, we really appreciate Indian donations. I trust in this relation it can bright our future”. Commented Saifullah Paktin on Saturday, 4 June 2016
“We thank you very much HE Modi and the great Indian nation for your sincere support with the war-torn Afghan nation. You are healing the wounds that we have suffered from our neighboring countries especially Pakistan who has been destroying our country for around four decades. long life to Afghan-Indian historical friendship. Commented by Khan Mohammad Stanikzai, on Saturday, 4 June 2016
Overall there is an overwhelming responses brimming with gratitude, thankfulness and appreciation to the government and people of India, another facebooker has commented as:
“India gave us light from our own water, we are Afghans; we will give our blood whenever India and Indians need it. Long live to Afghan-India friendship”. Commented by Mashall Khazan Khazan, on Saturday, 4 June 2016
India has played a very significant role by participating in rebuilding of Afghanistan following the collapse of Taliban regime in 2001. Since 2002, the government of India has spent USD 2 billion dollars to the socio-economic rebuilding of the afghan state. Beside India provide hundreds of scholarships every year to Afghan students in Indian universalities.