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Rediff.com  » News » India's aid efforts to Afghanistan being hampered by Pak

India's aid efforts to Afghanistan being hampered by Pak

August 26, 2005 16:12 IST
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India said on Friday that its efforts to help rebuild Afghanistan are being hampered by Pakistan, which lies between the two countries and refuses to allow Indian aid to be shipped through its territory.

To get goods and people to Afghanistan, India must instead send its aid by sea to Iran and have it transported from there - a circuitous and more expensive route, Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran told reporters.

India has committed about 500 million dollars to building roads, bridges, schools and hospitals inĀ Afghanistan.

Also read: India and Afghanistan will have stronger ties.

Saran insisted Pakistan must allow Indian aid to be shipped through its territory if it's serious about improving regional economic cooperation.

India and Pakistan are longtime rivals who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, although relations between the two have improved in the recent years.

Saran's comments come days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the Afghan capital, Kabul, the first by an Indian leader in 29 years.

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