US’ Afghanistan attack may pose threat to Indian projects in Nangarhar province

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 14, 2017

Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra

Three projects worth $2 million underway in the province

The military attack by the US with a 9,800-kg bomb on the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan to root out the presence of ISIS has put a question mark on some of the projects undertaken by India there.

India had announced three projects worth $2 million in the Nangarhar province located near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in April 2016. As many as 12 memorandums of understanding were signed then between Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra and Afghan officials.

These projects include a health clinic in the Achin district located south of Nangarhar province, construction of a compound area and an irrigation project in Jalalabad. This is part of India’s $2-billion financial aid to the war-torn country.

Under the small development project scheme, India had built basic health clinics in Nangarhar in 2008.

India, a key player

India is one of the key players in the reconstruction and rebuilding project of Afghanistan. The big-ticket projects that are being implemented and executed by India are mostly concentrated in Western, Northern and Southern parts of Afghanistan.

Under India’s assistance the Parliament Building of Afghanistan and Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam was recently completed.

“This action by the US is not likely to much impact India’s developmental projects there. Main problem is the attitude of various countries to find accommodation with the Taliban, which is problematic for us. India is playing a role in the development of Afghanistan but it is not comfortable with the idea of giving space to Taliban,” Kanwal Sibal, Former Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, told BusinessLine.

Hitting ISIS

Although US has said the bomb – GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) – was dropped there to dismantle a network of caves and tunnels built by the ISIS there, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack as “an inhuman and most brutal misuse” of Afghanistan.

According to certain reports, nearly 40 people were killed due to the bombing.

However, the spokesman of present Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that civilians had left the area due to fear of ISIS there. The spokesperson of Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry Dawlat Waziri said on Friday that bomb was not nuclear weapon and will not have an impact on the farming there.

Interestingly, despite India’s massive financial aid to the country the government has not issued any statement on this so far.

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Published on April 14, 2017
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