Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Afghanistan for the second time in six months this weekend, on a one-day visit to inaugurate a dam with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, India’s foreign ministry said.
The dam, in western Herat district close to the Iran border, is one of two large projects carried out under India’s development partnership with Afghanistan, worth more than $2 billion.
“The completion of the Afghan-India friendship dam represents the culmination of years of hard work by around 1,500 Indian and Afghan engineers and other professionals in very difficult conditions,” Vikas Swarup, foreign ministry spokesman told reporters of the Saturday visit.
Afghanistan President Deputy Spokesman DawaKhan Minapall said,” Both leaders after the inauguration will discuss the Afghanistan ongoing situation, and further will also talk about the military and economy of countries.”
Meanwhile Afghan lawmakers have declared the role of India in Afghanistan stability and peace vital, inauguration of Salma dam will strengthen the mutual ties of both countries.
Mp Raihana Azad said,” Several India projects in Afghanistan will bring closer both countries, this will help the peace and stability of Afghanistan.”
Despite of water dam India has built a new complex for Afghanistan parliament at an estimated cost of $90 million which was inaugurated by the PM Modi in December.
India and Afghanistan recently signed a three-way transit agreement with Iran to develop its southern port of Chabahar, as Modi visited Tehran last month.
“The real image that India has in Afghanistan is as a partner which has stood by… through its difficult times, a partner which has contributed immensely to Afghanistan’s development, unlike some partners who have contributed to instability and terrorism,” Swarup said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
The deal, bypassing Pakistan to connect Iran, India, and Afghanistan to central Asia, would boost economic growth in the region, Modi said at the time.
Salam dam cost $270 million the following dam will produce 42 mega watt electricity and will water 72,0000 acres of lands in Herat province.
Reported by Abdul Aziz Karimi