India likely to ink four pacts with Afghanistan

Published: 10th November 2012 09:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2012 09:35 AM   |  A+A-

Four agreements are likely to be signed during the visit of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who began his four-day trip from Mumbai on Friday.

The theme of the Mumbai leg would be business, with India keen to get the corporate world to invest in Afghanistan. Karzai also met  Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan.

“We are looking for investments in Afghanistan in various sectors, particularly in mineral field,” Y K Sinha, Additional Secretary (Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan) in the Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters on Friday. On Sunday, Karzai would deliver the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Memorial Lecture, organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations. Earlier this week, Afghanistan Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali had said that four agreements were expected to be inked, after the discussions between Karzai and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.

Agreements are likely in coal, youth affairs, small development projects and fertilizer sectors. On Thursday, the cabinet had approved `540 crore for the third phase of small development projects in Afghanistan.

The meeting comes as time is nearing for the reduction of foreign troops in Afghanistan.Foreign troops would begin to move out in 2014, though there are doubts over the capability of Afghanistan security forces to counter the Taliban.

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