India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reaffirmed New Delhi’s commitment to economic development and peace in Afghanistan.

In her speech during the historic India-Central Asia Dialogue in Uzekistan, Swaraj said India is committed to economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and promotion of an inclusive “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” peace and reconciliation process.

She called the growing menace of terrorism a serious challenge being faced by the region and emphasized that “We also need to ask who these terrorists are, who funds them, how do they find sustenance, who protects and sponsors them.”

According to Swaraj, more efficient connectivity will lead to the full realisation of the growth potential of the region, emphasizing that  the time has come to develop more efficient transit routes, as well as to better utilise existing opportunities and find innovative solutions.

Pointing towards the establishment of Chabahar Port, Swaraj said “Chabahar provides a shining example of what strong partnership can achieve to overcome any obstacles.”

She also informed that the ‘India-Central Asia Development Group’ will come up with concrete proposals to take forward India’s porposal regarding development partnership between India and Central Asian countries.

Swaraj also added that India is extending development assistance to Afghanistan of over $3 billion, focused on reconstruction, infrastructure development, capacity building, human resources development and connectivity.