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MEA Official Spokesperson on President Obama´s Speech on Af-Pak Policy

New Delhi
December 3, 2009

In response to a question on President Obama’s Speech on the US Review of its Af-Pak Policy, the Official Spokesperson said,

“We have noted US President Obama’s speech at West Point on December 1, 2009 and the announcement that 30,000 additional US troops would be deployed in Afghanistan in the first part of 2010. We welcome the emphasis in the US strategy on the strengthening of the Government of Afghanistan and Afghan security forces. We also welcome President Obama’s reiteration of the need to squarely tackle terrorism, and for Pakistan to ensure that terrorists do not enjoy safe havens on its territory. India believes that it is in the interest of the international community to impress upon Pakistan that it must use all its influence and resources to implement its commitments to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and to deny sanctuary to all terrorist groups who operate from its soil. 

In our view, it is essential that the international community shows unwavering commitment in resolutely opposing, resisting and overcoming terrorism and those who nurture, sustain and give sanctuary to terrorists and extremist elements. It is also imperative that the international community shows sustained and long-term commitment to assisting the Government and people of Afghanistan. 

India for its part has attempted to help Afghanistan in its reconstruction efforts as a means to bringing about stability in that country. Our assistance, now over US$ 1.3 billion, is spread across Afghanistan and spans almost the entire gamut of economic and social developmental activities. Despite daunting logistical and security challenges, two major GOI-funded infrastructure projects have been completed – construction of the 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram in Nimroz province and the construction of the 220 KV Transmission Line from Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul together with the sub-station at Chimtala. Construction of Afghanistan's new Parliament building, a symbol of the common commitment of both countries to pluralism and democracy, is also progressing. India reiterates its determination to fulfil its commitment to the Afghan people and Government as they build a peaceful, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan.”