Krishna to pitch for regional approach on AfghanistanNovember 30th, 2011 - 6:43 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) Against the backdrop of Pakistan boycotting the Bonn conference on Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will represent India at the key global conclave in Germany Dec 5 where he is expected to pitch for a regional approach to help stabilise the trouble-torn country.
Accompanied by senior officials involved with India’s Afghanistan policy, Krishna will head to Bonn Sunday for the pivotal conference which aims to map out Afghanistan’s future beyond 2014, when NATO-led International Security Assistance Force is expected to leave the country.
The conference is expected to come out with fresh financial commitments by key donors and global players for the violence-afflicted country for the next decade.
Foreign ministers and senior officials from around 100 countries are expected to gather for the Bonn conference which will discuss a host of issues, including the transition and stalled reconciliation efforts with the Taliban.
Against this backdrop, Krishna is expected to underline India’s unflinching commitment to the reconstruction of Afghanistan for which it has already pledged $2 billion, making it one of the top regional donors, said informed sources.
Krishna is also expected to advocate a regional approach involving the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan to help stabilise that country and to oversee rebuilding efforts after coalition troops withdraw by 2014.
It will be an amplification of the message Krishna enunciated at the Istanbul conference on Afghanistan early in November.
Pakistan is said to be opposed to a regional mechanism as it resents the enormous goodwill India enjoys in Afghanistan due to a host of people-centric reconstruction projects it has shepherded and built.
At the Bonn conference, India will also reiterate “an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-driven process” of reconciliation, said the sources. One can also expect Krishna to deliver a stern message about the need for closer global coordination to stamp out safe sanctuaries and haven for terror, allegedly supported by Pakistan.
India’s profile in Afghanistan is steadily growing, with key players like the US seeing India as an important player in the rebuilding of that country and praising its approach focused on capacity building.
In a boost to India, an Indian consortium of seven companies led by the Steel Authority of India has won the right to develop three iron ore blocks in the Hajigak deposits in central Afghanistan.
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