Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured President Ashraf Ghani that India will support Afghanistan to ensure that a "legitimate government is chosen through the democratic process", said sources on Thursday. Modi who held a bilateral meeting with Ghani on sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit here promised that India will fulfil all expectations of Afghanistan.
The war-torn nations are scheduled to undergo three elections--presidential, the provincial councils and the Ghazni parliamentary elections--simultaneously on September 28. Afghanistan has a long troubled history of elections. Last year, the October's elections were marred by roadside bomb attacks by Taliban. The problems also included malfunctioning of biometric voter verification equipment, incomplete voter lists and huge delays at polling sites.
The elections which were supposed to occur on April 20 were postponed due to "mounting pressure" on Independent Election Commission in Kabul to conduct effective voting. Citing Bangladesh example, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the importance of cooperation, sources said.
Meanwhile, during the talks, Ghani apprised the development in the peace process led by US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad. Notably, Khalilzad has held many rounds of talks with the Taliban but no agreement has been reached yet. On Monday, the new rounds of discussion were started to revive the stalled talks. Ghani also urged Modi to see terrorism and drugs through a single prism fueling the other.
The two leaders also discussed Pakistan, Afghanistan President Ghani raised questions on the "sincerity of Pakistan" in fighting terrorism, sources added. Afghanistan and India both have blamed Pakistan for supporting and harbouring terrorist groups.
Afghanistan President Ghani had strongly condemned the terror attack that took place in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on Thursday killing around 40 CRPF personnel. The CRPF personnel were killed when their convoy was targeted on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Thursday. The convoy comprised 78 buses in which around 2500 personnel were travelling from Jammu to Srinagar.
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