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India's role very important in Afghanistan: German Envoy

By Samyuktha

New Delhi, May 7 (ANI): Germany has hailed India's role in capacity building, and development in infrastructure and education sectors in war torn Afghanistan.

German Ambassador to India Thomas Matussek said: "I think this is the right approach, and not every country in Afghanistan should contribute with military means."

"I think the civilian help is much more important. Other countries, including Germany, have to make sure that we create a secure environment, but in the long run it is much more important that the Afghans are in the position to handle their own fate and they could only do it with the active cooperation of the neighbors and India has a very important role to play," the German envoy told ANI.

India is investing more than a billion dollars in small and large-scale projects, including dams, schools and power grids in Afghanistan.

According to recent surveys conducted by independent international organizations, a majority of Afghans are impressed by Indian efforts in rebuilding their country.

But a team of Indian medical workers and doctors was recently attacked in Kabul and Indian mission also came under terrorist attacks twice which were reportedly orchestrated by Pakistan based terror outfits.

Pakistani terrorist groups are specifically targeting Indian interests in Afghanistan and have openly expressed their annoyance over Indian presence.

Ambassador Matussek also welcomed the recent dialogue between Indian and Pakistani prime ministers at Thimpu.

"We welcome every contact and every talk which contribute to good prosperous relationship between these two countries who share such a wonderful but also sometimes very traumatic common history. I think if India and Pakistan solve their issues and if it comes to lessening of tensions, the whole world will profit from it," he said.

Refusing to comment on the recent decision taken by a Mumbai court on Ajmal Kasab, the German envoy said: "I think it is very good and positive that people are brought to justice, every country has their own judicial system. You know we are against death penalty but this is where we stand we believe, we don't interfere or comment on other countries especially the friendly countries."

Ever since the Mumbai attacks, India and Germany have stepped up cooperation in the field of counter terrorism, which includes training of security experts and exchanging notes on strategies.

Speaking on the future scope of defense cooperation between the two countries, Ambassador Matussek said that Germany can offer best multi role aircrafts and is ready to forgo End User Agreement, which is the pre condition for defense deals imposed by many countries including the United States.

"We have number of projects for instance if you talk about multi role aircraft for the future. We have Eurofighter Typhoon, which is the only aircraft having a history of 20-30 years, it is the best you can get in the market," he said.

The envoy said that Germany just don't want to sell the planes but intends to sell the first batch, develop second and third batch here in partnership and technology transfer to the degree that no other competitor will offer.

He also said that technology supplied to India would not be shared with Pakistan and China. Germany has also proposed a MoU on counter terrorism, which is under review. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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