NEW DELHI: Afghan President Hamid Karzai held talks with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday, hoping to secure more military aid as he looks to beef up his security forces after international troops pull out next year.
Pranab Mukherjee, who was conferred an honorary doctorate on Monday by India’s Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Punjab on Karzai, said India would stand by the Government and the people of Afghanistan in the critical period of transition, development and nation-building.
“India is proud to partner the Government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts towards reconstruction and development of Afghanistan,” Mukherjee told Karzai as the two met at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Mukherjee said India should strengthen and deepen India-Afghanistan relations in all areas as prescribed in the Strategic Partnership Agreement.
“India is prepared to increase bilateral contribution to institution-building, training and equipment to the extent India can,” said Mukherjee.
The Afghan President warmly reciprocated the President’s words and said India is amongst the closest of countries to Afghanistan and according to many surveys the country most liked by the Afghan people.
“India-Afghan relations stand today on solid cemented grounds. Our relations are greater than any time before,” said Karzai.
Later, Karzai also met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed bilateral issues.
Earlier on Monday, the visiting Afghanistan president was conferred the first Honorary Doctorate Degree of LPU at the 3rd Annual Convocation of the universitiy at Phagwara in Punjab.
Hamid Karzai is visiting India from May 20 to 22.