Two decades of progress in peril. By alienating India, the Taliban rulers are making a big mistake. From capacity building to lighting up the country, India’s assistance to Afghanistan flourished for over 20 years … writes Dr Sakariya Kareem
India has supplied military hardware, four Mi-25 attack helicopters to the Afghan Air Force in 2015 and 285 military vehicles to the Afghan National Army. Personnel of the Afghan defence forces have received military and intelligence training from India.
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE –
Apart from all these India also supplied daily supply of 100 grams of fortified, high-protein biscuits to nearly 2 million children under a School Feeding Programme administered through the World Food Programme.
India also gifted 250,000 metric tonnes of wheat in January 2009 to help Afghanistan tide over its current food crisis and reconstructed Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health in Kabul as part of it’s humanitarian assistance.
CIVIL AVIATION –
India gifted three airbus aircrafts, along with essential spares, and retrained airline officials to develop capacity in the civilian aviation sector of Afghanistan.
India undertook the emergency restoration of telecommunication infrastructure in 11 provinces in 2005 with installation of equipment including digital telephone exchanges, with infrastructure facilities including towers and power supply systems.
In late 2001, after a decade of devastation and faced with the pressure of returning refugees, Kabul and the provinces found themselves bereft of public transport facilities. Responding to the need, India gifted 400 buses to Afghanistan, of which 205 were deployed in Kabul and the balance in 25 provinces of Afghanistan. This was supplemented by 200 minibuses, particularly for use in hilly regions and to connect out-laying villages to urban centres. Municipalities were gifted 105 utility vehicles, including water and cesspit tankers and garbage dump.
EDUCATION, AND CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
Reconstruction of Habibia School, Kabul and 500 annual long term university scholarships provided by India to Afghanistan adds to more.
This undoubtedly makes India one of the largest aid donors to Afghanistan since the war broke out in 2001. Providing extensive developmental assistance to the country, India is not only the leading donor nations but also by far the largest donor in the region.