End cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan: Modi 

Kabul, Dec 25 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that Afghanistan will succeed only when terrorism from across the border with Pakistan stops.

Without naming Pakistan, Modi said in an address to the parliament here: “Afghanistan will succeed only when terrorism no longer flows across the border; when nurseries and sanctuaries of terrorism are shut; and, their patrons are no longer in business.

“Terror and violence cannot be the instrument to shape Afghanistan’s future or dictate the choices Afghans make,” he said.

Modi dropped in at Kabul in the wee hours of Friday while on his way back from a two-day visit to Russia.

He, along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, inaugurated the new Afghan parliament building that has been constructed with Indian assistance of $90 million. One block of the building has been named after former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“There are some who did not want us to be here,” Modi said.

“There were those who saw sinister designs in our presence here. There are others who were uneasy at the strength of our partnership. Some even tried to discourage us.”

He said that “those waging war from outside must seek a path to this building and this hall”.

“Those seeking territory through gun must seek power through ballot. Those who have destroyed homes must now rebuild their nation. For, this is your land and these are your people.”

The Indian prime minister said that Afghanistan’s success would require the cooperation and support of each of its neighbours.

“And, all of us in the region – India, Pakistan, Iran and others – must unite, in trust and cooperation, behind this common purpose and in recognition of our common destiny,” he said.

“When Afghanistan becomes a haven of peace and a hub for the flow of ideas, commerce, energy and investments in the region, we will all prosper together.

“That is why we are working to improve your connectivity by land and sea, including through Chahbahar in Iran,” he said .

Modi also expressed the hope that Pakistan would “become a bridge between South Asia and Afghanistan and beyond”.

“I hope that the day will come soon when energy from Central Asia will power prosperity in our region; when a Kabuliwala can once again come across easily to win Indian hearts; when we in India can relish the wonderful fruits of Afghanistan; when Afghans do not have to pay an enormous price to buy their favourite products from India,” he said.

Stating that nothing was more important for a nation than its human resources, he announced 500 Indian scholarships for children of security personnel who have died.

Indian prime minister said that he was “humbled and honoured” to join President Ghani and all the members of the Afghan parliament to dedicate the new parliament building to the Afghan nation.

“We could not have chosen a more special day than the birthday of one of the tallest leaders of our time, former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji. Eleven years ago, he dreamt of this project in partnership with (former Afghan president Hamid) Karzai Saheb,” he said.

“And, we are deeply touched that you have chosen to name one of the wings in this building the Atal Block.”

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