New Delhi, Oct.1 (ANI): In a marked shift in its policy, Pakistan has invited India to work alongside in Afghanistan to rebuild the war-ravaged country to which New Delhi has agreed.
External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna stated this in an exclusive interview to Asian News International (ANI) here today.
Krishna said that he was pleasantly surprised by Pakistan's suggestion, and has expressed India's willingness to work together for rebuilding Afghanistan.
"In Afghanistan we are doing something constructive, something very solid, something appreciated by the people of Afghanistan. We have gone there to rebuild Afghanistan and I am very happy to hear from Pakistan Foreign Minister that both India and Pakistan should work together to rebuild Afghanistan," the External Affairs Minister told ANI.
"I am very surprised by the change in policy by Pakistan. I said yes we are already there we can work together to rebuild Afghanistan. India doesn't have any other agenda in Afghanistan rather than rebuilding the country," Krishna added.
Earlier, Pakistan's foreign and national security strategy considered Afghanistan providing it strategic depth against India.
Islamabad had always been worried about New Delhi's growing involvement in development of Afghanistan, and fears were expressed in Pakistan that India intended to encircle Pakistan. Objections were also raised over setting up of the Indian consulate in Kandahar.
India has invested in Afghanistan, particularly in infrastructure projects such as roads, hospitals, schools and the new parliament uilding in Kabul. Indian reconstruction aid totals 1.2 billion dollars. By Smita Prakash (ANI)