HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday assured of his country’s greater cooperation with Afghanistan on regional and international levels.
In an address after inaugurating the Afghan-India Friendship Dam along with President Ashraf Ghani, PM Modi hailed the people of Afghanistan for denouncing terrorism.
The PM called the previously known Salma Dam’s inauguration as yet another historical step in Afghanistan development and a moment of pride for India-Afghanistan bilateral relationship.
“I am thankful for naming the dam as friendship dam. We respect the goodness and greatness of Afghans.”
The Indian PM said: “Today we are inaugurating dam that will bring light to thousands of families and irrigate hundreds hectares of land.”
He called Salma dam a milestone in Afghanistan history and said the project would bring stability to the region and would boost agriculture in different districts of Herat.
He said shoulders that once carried guns would now get engaged in cultivation and irrigation of lands and their coming generations would have a brighter future.
He said Indians would never forget friendship with Afghanistan and that Indian resources would be limited but its commitment to develop the war-torn country and strengthen its institutions was unlimited.
Modi assured converting the dreams of Afghans into reality was New Delhi’s desire and the journey would continue unstopped.
He said people might be doubtful about Afghanistan future but Indians believed that Afghans would emerge successful despite hurdles and difficulties.
Prime Minister Mod said India would extend cooperation to every part of war-torn Afghanistan despite facing barriers of politics, geography and terror attacks on its mission here.
He hailed the people of Afghanistan for denouncing terrorism and said division among them will only help those seeking to “dominate” the nation from outside.
“It was a war not of Afghan making, but it was one that stole the future of an entire generation of Afghans,” the PM said, adding that the brave Afghan people were today sending a message that the forces of “destruction and death, denial and domination” shall not prevail.
He said when Afghanistan succeeded in defeating terrorism, the world would be “safer and more beautiful”. “Because we know that extremism and terrorism cannot stop at your border or end at the boundaries of our region,” the Prime Minister said.
The dam has been built by India at a cost of $300 million on river Harirud in Chist-i- Sharif in Herat neighbouring Iran. It will irrigate 75,000 hectares of land and generate 42 MW of power.
“This dam has not been built by bricks and mortar, but by the faith of our friendship and the valour of Afghans and Indians. And, at this moment of pride, we also stand in grief and gratitude for lives sacrificed so that Afghan people will have a future they so richly deserve and so deeply desire,” PM Modi said.
In his around 25-minute-long speech, PM Modi touched upon the peace process in Afghanistan, the massive terrorist attack on Indian Consulate in Herat and reconstruction activities in said Afghanistan.