India Announces $500 Million Assistance for Afghanistan

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced $500 million assistance for Afghanistan in a step expected to raise Pakistan’s concerns over India’s growing influence in Afghanistan following Bin Laden’s death. During his first trip to Afghanistan in six years, the Indian prime ministers met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai amid growing demands in America for a quicker pullout of its forces from Afghanistan after the killing of Bin Laden. Any speedy reduction in US troops will be worrying for New Delhi as it believes Afghanistan could be controlled by a Taliban-dominated government friendly with Islamabad. However, Singh added that India supported Afghan led reconciliation process with Taliban. Singh said that priority areas for the new assistance package would be agriculture, infrastructure and social programs in the war-hit country.