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India visit has led to forward outlook in close ties: Ghani

New Delhi : Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday said that India and Afghanistan are bound by a “million ties across the millennia or several millennia” and that his visit has resulted in a “forward outlook” in the close ties.

Ghani, who held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Tuesday, said at a press conference that “this visit has resulted in a forward outlook where those ties that already bind us will be expanded, enhanced for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in this region”.

He reiterated his thanks to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore for his iconic work “Kabuliwala”, which he said has given Afghanistan “a distinctive pride”. “Kabuliwala has done for us more than what billion dollars in advertisement could do.”

He said he was delighted that a new version of the film is being made, with some scenes set in Afghanistan and hoped the “new generation would get to experience Afghanistan from close and would be able to expand it”.

He thanked India for the $2.2 billion assistance, being the fourth largest contributor to his country.

Ghani said he is looking to the Indian private sector for future prospects of investment in Afghanistan.

He cited the advantages of his country’s central location and vast mineral resources that would propel it forward.

He said with Afghanistan again becoming a “roundabout”, like it was hundreds of years ago, he envisaged “hundreds of billions of tonnes of cargo” moving through his country and pipelines carrying gas and oil from Central Asia to South Asia, as well as a network of rail connectivity and people to people connect.

Ghani said that 13,000 Afghan students are studying in Indian universities and appreciated the Indian government for renewing it for another five years.

He said that relations with India have six dimensions, including working together to make the Asian continental economy a reality, coordinate with information on fighting the threat of terrorism and policies to ensure regional peace and prosperity and cooperation.

The Afghan president arrived here on Monday night on a three-day visit, his first to India seven months after he was sworn-in.