Rejecting US President Donald Trump’s jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan, India on Thursday said that developmental assistance can play a major role in transforming the war-ravaged country, PTI reproted.
During the first cabinet in the new year on Wednesday, Trump criticised India for not doing enough for Afghanistan and took a jibe at the Indian prime minister for funding a library there which he believes is of no use.
Reacting to Trump’s remark, official sources told PTI that India has been implementing a range of mega infrastructure projects as well as carrying out community development programmes in Afghanistan as per requirement of its people. They said such assistance would go a long way in making the country economically empowered and stable.
The US president referred to Modi as an example of how world leaders are talking about their contributions that were nowhere near the “billions of dollars” the US was spending.
Responding to this, official sources said India may be building small libraries as part of the community development initiative, but most of its investments in Afghanistan were on mega infrastructure projects including the 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram, the Salma Dam and the new Afghan Parliament building.
India has also been supplying military equipment to Afghanistan besides providing training to hundreds of Afghan security personnel.
The sources said India plays a significant role in the country as its development partner and that the partnership is built on the specific needs and requirements worked out with the Afghan government.
“India seeks to build capacities and capabilities of Afghan nationals and its institutions for governance and delivery of public service, develop socio-economic infrastructure, secure lives and promote livelihood,” said a source.
Reacting sharply to Trump’s jibe, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said that India has been doing immense development work in Afghanistan for which the people of the war-ravaged country “thank us, no matter what others do or don’t”.
May be Trump should know that while he is decrying every other help in Af, India has been building not only libraries, but roads, dams, schools n even parliament building. We are building lives, for which d Afghan people thank us, no matter what others do or don’t. https://t.co/VUOIm1nuQd
— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) January 3, 2019
“Maybe Trump should know that while he is decrying every other help in Afghanistan, India has been building not only libraries, but roads, dams, schools and even parliament building. We are building lives, for which the Afghan people thank us, no matter what others do or don’t,” he said in a tweet.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel termed as “completely unacceptable” President Trump’s ‘library’ jibe and asked the government to remind America of India’s assistance to Afghanistan.
Tenor & tone of the US President describing the Prime Minister of India is not in good taste & is completely unacceptable
Hope our Govt responds firmly & reminds America that since 2004,India has built extensive roads,dams in Afghanistan & pledged over $3 billion in assistance pic.twitter.com/wdil1hse6w
— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) January 3, 2019
“Tenor and tone of the US president describing the Prime Minister of India is not in good taste and is completely unacceptable,” Patel tweeted.
Besides mega infrastructure projects, India is implementing 116 new ‘High Impact Community Development Projects’ in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the areas of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sports infrastructure, administrative infrastructure.
(With PTI inputs)