Somewhere in Afghanistan....

In a boost for India’s reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, Afghans favoured India’s role in reconstruction and developmental efforts over that of the United Nations, NATO, Iran and Pakistan. A Gallup poll said that 56% preferred India’s role in the reconstruction of the country, while 51% preferred the UN, 44% Nato, 30% Pakistan and 42 % Iran. The Afghans, who were surveyed in June, saw NATO, the United Nations, India, and Iran as playing key roles in the reconstruction effort. But as far as Pakistan was concerned, Afghans were just as likely to point to the country’s role in supporting the Taliban as well as reconstruction efforts. Pointing out that India is the largest regional donor in Afghanistan, the poll report said, “The country’s increasing visibility in reconstruction and development efforts is evident in the roles Afghans see the country as playing and think India should play.” The Gallup data further showed that one in seven Afghans identified India’s current role in economic development and said India should play continue to play this role. As far as Pakistan was concerned, the poll reflected the strain between the two countries over issues related to terrorism and border control. Around 33% said Pakistan’s current role in Afghanistan is supporting the Taliban leadership while 30% Afghans preferred Pakistan playing a role in reconstruction. The Gallup data further suggested that it was important to the Afghan people that cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community should continue. The findings of the poll are being taken as an affirmation of the kind of role India wants to play in Afghanistan. According to Gallup, the survey was conducted to give insight into the kind of roles Afghans think countries and multilateral groups should play in the country.

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