India Supports Karzai in Standoff with United States

Amidst a standoff between Hamid Karzai the embattled President of Afghanistan and the U.S., India announced this weekend that it saluted the brave and extraordinary leadership of Karzai in nurturing peace and democracy into the country torn by years of war.

Salman Khurshid, the Minister of External Affairs, in a speech inaugurating Afghanistan’s first agricultural university, backed the Afghan president and lauded the leadership he has shown for the past 12 years.

The minister, who arrived earlier Saturday on a visit of one day, said the Afghan upcoming elections were a testament to how democracy has established firm roots.

Khurshid said the election showed that democracy was working and that thanks to Karzai’s extraordinary leadership there has been great nurturing done to help it along.

Just as in India today, said Khurshid, no one can determine the outcome of the elections in Afghanistan.

Many of the tickets running for the presidency that will battle it out in the elections to come represent democratic and political alliances between different groups that one could never imagine could become allies in an election.

The remarks were made while Khurshid was inaugurating jointly with Karzai, ANASTU the Afghan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University.

India has backed the varsity, which is a capacity building program that has been established on the area where the Taliban had its headquarters. India pledged it would invest as much as $8 million in the new project. Portions have been completed whilst other parts are still under construction.

The development assistance program of India, for the country of Afghanistan currently is $2 billion, which makes India the leading donor amongst all countries in the region.

The visit by Khurshid took place amidst a disagreement between the United States and Karzai that is jeopardizing the proposed Bilateral Security Agreement, which is vital to the limiting of an American presence of armed forces inside Afghanistan following its drawdown during 2014.

During Khurshid’s visit in Kandahar, the second largest Afghan city, the minister called upon Karzai. In remarks during his speech, he extended the support of India to the government efforts in Afghanistan to establish a genuine Afghan-led, owned and controlled reconciliation procedure.

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