“India and Afghanistan agreed to take up 116 high-impact community development projects to be implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said on Wednesday.
The meeting between Zakhilwal and Bajwa came a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in his UN General Assembly address sought dialogue with Pakistan to build strained ties and address raging militancy.
“The Afghan government’s expansion of irregular forces could have enormously dangerous consequences for civilians,” said Patricia Gossman, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.
.Afghan security forces have been struggling to beat back a resurgent Taliban, which last month vowed to make Afghanistan a “graveyard” for foreign forces after US President Donald Trump made an open-ended commitment to keep American boots on the ground.
Passing the annual appropriations bill for the State Department for the year 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee said it “remains concerned with the commitment by Pakistan to US strategic objectives in the region, including combating terrorism”.
Both sides hit out at Pakistan, without naming the country.
Afghanistan has been pressing for greater Indian assistance in defence supplies and capacity building for a long time. Rabbani further said that his country’s friendship with India does not mean hostility to any other country and that it is not a zero-sum game.
Earlier this year Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered a near doubling of their ranks from 17,000 as part of a four-year roadmap that also aims to strengthen Afghanistan’s air force.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported in July on an alleged cover-up of the killing of an Afghan boy as well as hundreds of pages of leaked defence force documents relating to the secretive operations of the country’s special forces.
According to provincial officials, a suicide bomber exploded himself in front of an armored vehicle in Dopul area of Nawa district. No group including Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif is soon expected to visit the US and meet Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Ahead of the US visit, Asif is scheduled to travel to China, Russia and Turkey to hold meetings with their leaders on the Trump’s South Asia policy.
Ruling out a hasty withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Trump had issued sternest warning yet by an American leader to Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists and sought an enhanced role for India in bringing peace in Afghanistan.
Two local women, two soldiers, and a child died in the blast and their bodies were taken to the hospital, along with more than 40 wounded, a doctor at the hospital said.
“The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s perspective and desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said the carefully worded statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Office.
” I an grateful to President Trump and the American people for this affirmation of support for our efforts to achieve self-reliance and for our joint effort to rid the region of the threat of terrorism,” said President Ashraf Ghani