Manmohan Singh calls for renewing friendship with Afghanistan
Kabul, May 13 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday said the primary agenda of his visit to Afghanistan was to renew ties of friendship, solidarity and fraternity.
Addressing a Joint Session of the Parliament of Afghanistan, Dr. Singh said: "As leaders and representatives, we have the sacred duty to strengthen and enrich these bonds forged by our people over centuries. I have come to Afghanistan to renew these ties of friendship, solidarity and fraternity. This is the only agenda that I have come with. This is the only agenda that the people of India have in Afghanistan."
"Afghanistan has undergone great trials and tribulations. But we know that the Afghan people are proud, brave and fiercely independent. We know that they are strong and resilient in the face of adversity. These are qualities widely admired in India," he added.
Stating that Afghanistan has made significant progress in the last ten years, Dr. Singh said the process of nation building is long and full of hurdles.
"In the ten years since it decided to turn its back on the past and face the future, Afghanistan has made significant progress in many areas. There are undoubtedly many challenges ahead. The process of nation building is long and full of hurdles. National reconstruction needs sustained hard work and sacrifice and is a process of learning," said Dr. Singh.
"Our two countries face similar development challenges. India is ready to partner the Afghan people as they rebuild their country in accordance with their own priorities and national circumstances. Many of Afghanistan's priorities are also our priorities. Many of your problems are also our problems," he added.
Dr. Singh further said Afghanistan is a country richly endowed in culture, heritage, architecture and natural resources.
"Afghanistan has been a centre of civilization. It has given to the region and the world the richness of Dari and Pashto literature, the Sufi traditions of the Chistis, the legacy of the Buddha and Buddhist art in Bamiyan, the Gandhara School of art and much more," said Dr. Singh.
"Afghanistan has been the junction between South and Central Asia and a gateway to India. Our ties of history and culture go back many millennia. Our forefathers have bequeathed to us a rich heritage of social, cultural and political ties. These civilisational connections have tied together our traditions and faiths and our terrain and temperament," he added. (ANI)
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