Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to meet PM Narendra Modi tomorrow

New Delhi: Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani will visit India on Wednesday against the backdrop of rising violence by rebel Taliban militants, tension within the National Unity Government in his country and China building a new rail link from its east coast to Afghanistan.

Ghani will be arriving in India on Wednesday to hold “close consultations” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which the Afghan president could ask for increased military assistance from New Delhi.

The Afghan president’s programme in New Delhi includes a lunch by Modi, an address to Indian businessmen and a speech to the government-run New Delhi-based think tank, the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

India has always considered Afghanistan as part of its extended neighbourhood and has sought friendly ties with Kabul, much to the discomfort of regional rival Pakistan. New Delhi has been one of the biggest donors to Afghanistan, pledging $2 billion in support for reconstruction programmes in the war-torn country.

Announcing Ghani’s visit, the Indian foreign ministry in a statement over the weekend said the discussions between Ghani and Modi will “provide an opportunity to continue the close and frequent consultations between the two friendly neighbours, including at the highest level.”

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