Kabul, Jun 15 (PTI) India has suggested launching a series of political and economic initiatives to boost opportunity in Afghanistan to propel development and discourage "external interference" in the war-torn country. Minister of Law and Justice Salman Khurshid told the first Ministerial Meeting of the Istanbul Process in Kabul that in addition to military measures to fight terrorism, it was also crucial to bring in private and foreign capital to begin a fresh narrative of "opportunity and hope" in the country. Khurshid, who led the Indian delegation, at the conference of 14 regional countries on boosting regional cooperation to fight terrorism and drug trafficking and pursue economic development, insisted that a purely military solution cannot resolve the Afghan problem and political approaches are required. "It is important to recall that the principal problem in Afghanistan continues to remain the existence of terrorism, drawing upon ideological, financial and logistical support from beyond its borders. "We recognise that the solution to this problem cannot be purely military, but also requires political approaches. The Istanbul Process underlines this political effort and seeks to underpin it with economic cooperation," he told the gathering. The conference was attended by officials from regional nations including Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. Khurshid said private and foreign capital and entrepreneurship can play an important role not only in ensuring the economic future of Afghanistan, but also in countering the current narrative of anxiety of withdrawal and reversing it with a narrative of opportunity and hope. "The prospect of economic progress among the region can create a political dynamic that would discourage external interference aimed at destabilising Afghanistan," he said without mentioning any country, in remarks yesterday. PTI WAJ AKJ
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