`India should play key role in reconstruction'

KABUL, DEC. 30. The Afghanistan President, Mr. Hamid Karzai, today said India should play a greater role than other countries in the reconstruction of his war-ravaged country. Terming India as his ``second home'', Mr.Karzai told this to India's special envoy, Mr. Satish Lambah, during their 35-minute meeting, official sources said.

Mr. Lambah, who also met the Foreign Minister, Mr. Abdullah Abdullah and the Defence Minister, Mr. Fahim Khan, reiterated India's support to the present regime and for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The special envoy said India had already pledged an aid of Rs. one billion and added that this would be given directly to Afghanistan without routing it through the U.N. Mr. Karzai accepted the invitation to visit India but said that it would materialise only after his trip to Japan and the U.S. In January, a conference will be held in Tokyo for reconstructing Afghanistan where countries are expected to announce huge aids for the purpose. - PTI

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