Shah Nawaz says he is happy to serve the Afghan people

Set to complete a decade in the former power hub of the Taliban, Dr Shah Nawaz, the ‘lone Indian’ here, is happy to help the war-weary Afghan people with their medical needs.

Nawaz, 45, is a doctor working at a private hospital. Officials said Dr. Nawaz is the only Indian working in the city apart from a handful of staff at the Indian Consulate in Kandahar city.

Recalling his journey to Afghanistan, Dr. Nawaz said an Afghan businessman in the dry fruits trade had contacts with his family in India. The businessman often spoke to Dr. Nawaz of the plight of people in Kandahar and their health requirements.

“I then gave him a proposal to build a hospital. He (the businessman) was ready to invest and I expressed readiness to come to Afghanistan and serve the people,” Dr. Nawaz said.

“People here are very simple, their needs are very limited. Actually even basic treatment is not available,” said Nawaz, who hails from Maharashtra.

“I am here since August 2005. My family is not here. They are in Malaysia. I visit them twice or thrice a year and they come once a year to India,” he said. Dr. Nawaz said he was the only Indian working in the city but a number of his compatriots were employed in a huge U.S. military base in Kandahar. According to sources, Indians working at the U.S. base come through Dubai and are not registered with the Consulate.

India last week helped Afghanistan establish its first agriculture university here as part of a major capacity-building project to help the war-torn country increase farm output and attain economic independence.

The Afghan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University (ANASTU) is coming up in the sprawling Tarnak farm in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.

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