A Dam of Friendship

Unfazed by terror attacks on its missions and barriers of politics and geography , India will continue to extend cooperation in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted after dedicating a Rs.1,700-crore dam in the strategically vital Herat province. “Our resources may be modest, but our will is boundless. For others, their commitments may have a sunset clause, but our relationship is timeless. We face barriers of geography and politics, but we define our path from clarity of our purpose,“ he said, inaugurating Afghan-India Friendship Dam (formerly Salma Dam) with President Ashraf Ghani.
Modi hailed the people of Afghanistan for denouncing terrorism and said divisions among them will only help those seeking to “dominate“ the nation from outside. “It was a war not of Afghan making, but it was one that stole the future of an entire generation of Afghans,“ he said. When Afghanistan succeeds in defeating terrorism, the world will be “safer and more beautiful“, Modi said.
The dam, on River Harirud in Chist-e-Sharif in western Herat near Iran, will irrigate 75,000 hectares of land and generate 42 MW of power. “This dam has not been built by bricks and mortar, but by the faith of our friendship and the valour of Afghans and Indians,“ Modi said. “And, at this moment of pride, we also stand in grief and gratitude for lives sacrificed so that Afghan people will have a future they so richly deserve and so deeply desire,“ Modi said.
Resolving to stand by Afghanistan, Modi said India's cooperation will extend to “every part“ of the war-torn country and that the partnership will benefit every section of Afghan society . “In your clear eyes, I saw the deep well of affection for India. In your smiles, I saw the joy of this relationship. In the firmness of your embrace, I felt the trust in our friendship,“ Modi said.
In his around 25-minute long speech, Modi touched upon the peace process in Afghanistan, the massive terrorist attack on Indian consulate in Herat and reconstruction activities. in that country .
“When our people are under attack, the brave Afghans guard us as their own.They put themselves in the line of fire so that their Indian friends are safe.This is the nobility of your heart and the strength of your friendship,“ Modi asserted. “For on that day , when terrorists launched a massive attack on our consulate in this city of Herat, the heroic efforts of Afghan soldiers, and of our personnel, saved many lives and prevented a big tragedy ,“ he said, referring to the May 23, 2014 attack on the Indian mission here.
India will remain a trusted partner of Afghanistan because of the time-tested “values that Afghans and Indians seek each other, not because they harbour designs against another“, Modi said. He said there has been “resistance“ and “suspicion“ of others about India's role in Afghanistan, but its resolve was strong and that will guide it forward in ensuring the country's prosperity .

President Ashraf Ghani conferred Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Afghanistan's highest civilian honour, the Amir Amanullah Khan Award. “A true brotherhood honoured. PM is awarded with the Amir Amanullah Khan Award, Afghanistan's highest civilian honour,“ MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted. 

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