So why has India decided to invest in Afghanistan?
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- Government of Pakistan - Wikipedia?
- Government of Pakistan?
Traditionally, the vast majority of Indian aid goes to South Asian nations: Afghanistan, Bhutan and Nepal are direct aid recipients of India. Unlike Bhutan and Nepal, Afghanistan is important for India for two main reasons: its strategic location and the business potential for Indian companies. This is why, since the engagement of the international community in Afghanistan in , India has disbursed over USD 2 billion in development aid in Afghanistan. Despite the changing global landscape, India is giving aid to Afghanistan for two very traditional reasons: diplomatic relations and commercial interests.
Diplomatic relations. Historically, India and Afghanistan have close cultural and political ties. After the Russian war in , India was among the countries that recognized and supported the Afghan government, until the emergence of the Taliban in Immediately after the US-led coalition invasion in , Indian diplomatic ties grew up again, diplomatic missions were reinstated, and billions of dollars were invested as foreign aid for the reconstruction and development of the country.
President Karzai visited India more than any other country during the 13 years of his administration. Signed in , the SPA requires India to contribute to long-term political, security, and development programmes in the country.
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India does not want Afghanistan once again become a hot-bed of extremism. India believes that instability in Afghanistan will lead to instability in the region. The US also wants India to take a greater active role in the development of Afghanistan. On the other hand, the closeness of diplomatic ties between India and Afghanistan have always been a source of tension for Pakistan.
Pakistan considers the increasing role of India in Afghanistan as a threat to its own political, security and economic development. Indeed, Pakistan can play a very influential role in initiating peace talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban leadership.
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With 18, trained election observers in and 41, in , Fafen is supported by donors include USAid, the Department for International Development, the European Union, and the Asia Foundation. Fafen has focused on voter mobilisation in constituencies where women voters in previous elections were forced to stay away from polling stations. Other projects work more broadly on encouraging greater citizen engagement and public accountability.
This means citizens don't understand the law or their rights," says Rizvi, who argues a climate of secrecy can provide ample opportunity for the manipulation of votes and voting records. In this context, he compares Fafen's work to that of accountants who ask for the original receipts when dealing with expenses claims. Rizvi says errors have occurred where election commission representatives failed to disclose polling information to election monitors.
The sensitivity and mechanics of this information were kept away from the public eye.