India, Afghanistan sign pacts ask for end of sponsorship of terrorism

Stepping up bilateral security cooperation, India and Afghanistan on Wednesday asked for an end to sponsorship of “all forms of terrorism” and signed an Extradition Treaty to facilitate exchange of wanted terrorists and criminals. In a veiled reference to Pakistan, a joint statement issued after talks between visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both sides called upon “the concerned” to “put an end to all sponsorship, support, safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists including for those who target Afghanistan and India”.

Apart from the landmark treaty of extradition, the two sides also sealed agreements on peaceful uses of outer space and on cooperation on civil and commercial matters. The meeting between the two heads also sought faster implementation of the trilateral agreement among Afghanistan, Iran and India sealed in May 2016 which is aimed at creating a network of regional connectivity around Iran’s Chahbahar port.

India also extended a $one-billion for ‘capacity and capability building’ in areas such as education, health, agriculture, skill development, empowerfment of women, energy, infrastructure and strengthening of democratic institutions. India also offered Afghanistan affordable pharmaceutical products and medicines.

It is one of the many pacts

The extradition treaty is one of the several agreements that India and Afghanistan have been negotiating for some years with India was discussed during Mr. Ghani’s visit to India. Several other agreements like the Motor Vehicles Agreement are pending due to the lack of support from Pakistan to Kabul’s plans for business with India. Both sides signed a bilateral agreement on visa free travel for diplomats during the February visit of Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah to India.