Karzai backs India line on terror,targets Pakistan

Visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday expressed Afghanistan’s solidarity with India in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 13, 2009 12:20 am

Visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday expressed Afghanistan’s solidarity with India in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks and called for Pakistan’s “full compliance” with international,bilateral and multilateral obligations to prevent terror attacks originating from its soil.

The Afghan President,who arrived in India on Sunday evening,left on Monday afternoon. Besides Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,Karzai also met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

A joint Indo-Afghan statement,issued at the end of his visit,said the “deplorable incident shows that terrorism is a threat to the entire humanity”.

“The leaders called for the full compliance with bilateral,multilateral and international obligations of States to prevent terrorism in any manner originating from territories under their control since terrorism emanates from the sanctuaries and training camps and the sustenance and support received by the terrorist groups,” it said.

Describing Karzai’s visit to India as “symbolic” to express Afghanistan’s solidarity with the Government and people of India in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attack,the two sides also reviewed their “robust and strategic partnership”. Karzai and Manmohan Singh expressed satisfaction over the progress in bilateral development and reconstruction projects in all parts of Afghanistan.

New Delhi,which has been awaiting Karzai’s visit with keen interest,has a reason to be satisfied since the Afghan President has made the right noises although the lifeline of supplies to Afghanistan is through Pakistan.

It may be recalled that Karzai had blamed Pakistan’s ISI for the Indian Embassy attack in Kabul,in which an Indian diplomat and an Indian Army official were among those killed.

During the meeting,the Prime Minister conveyed to Karzai that following the completion of the road from Zaranj to Delaram in south-western Afghanistan,a second major infrastructure project — the Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul transmission line and the sub-station at Chimtala in Northern Afghanistan — would be handed over shortly to the Government of Afghanistan.

They also expressed their satisfaction that the construction of Afghan Parliament,described in the joint statement as “a symbol of the common commitment of both countries to pluralism and democracy”,has also begun.

Karzai invited the Prime Minister for a state visit to Afghanistan,which was accepted. The dates will be finalised through diplomatic channels.

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