India committed to aiding Afghan reconstruction

March 13th, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by admin  

By Parveen Chopra
New York, March 13 (IANS) India is committed to the reconstruction and development effort in Afghanistan, India’s ambassador to the United Nations Nirupam Sen stated in the United Nations Security Council here. “India’s assistance programme has now exceeded $750 million, and it spans the gamut of requirements, ranging from developing capacity to infrastructure and reconstruction,” he said during a debate on the situation in Afghanistan Wednesday.

Sen also promised the Security Council that as a committed development partner of Afghanistan, India is willing to actively participate in any UN-led effort to improve donor cohesion in support of Afghan-defined priorities.

The Security Council was debating the renewal of the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan set up in 2002.

Sen said that while the international community aims to assist Afghanistan re-emerge as a modern democratic country on the path to sustainable economic development after decades of war and civil strife, the process should be “Afghanised” at a pace and in a manner that is acceptable to the Afghan people and their government.

“We should neither press for unrealistic targets, unattainable agendas, nor should we transfer responsibility to Afghan shoulders before they are ready to accept it,” he said.

Sen quoted the Secretary-General’s report on Afghanistan that notes the need to ensure that “international assistance is demand-rather than supply-driven”.

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