India completes Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan
[UNI] – New Delhi, Aug 5 : India has completed the construction of the 218 Km Zaranj-Delaram Highway in South-Western Afghanistan despite attacks by Taliban and the loss of precious lives of Indian nationals working on the project.
The prestigious highway that will connect India with Central Asia will be handed over to the Afghanistan government soon.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who conveyed this to visiting Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai described the construction of the road as ”a major test of our joint resolve.” Mr Karzai is here on a two-day State visit after attending the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo. He held talks yesterday with the Prime Minister and other leaders.
”…one of the important infrastructure projects in Western Afghanistan–the road from Zaranj to Delaram–is now complete and will be handed over soon to the Government of Afghanistan.
The construction of this road was a major test of our joint resolve,” the Prime Minister said.
He described the road as a symbol of India-Afghanistan cooperation and a tribute to the precious Indian and Afghan lives that were lost in making this project a reality.
”The road has brought our two peoples closer together,” Dr Singh said.
He said India’s efforts for the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan were part of a larger international endeavour to help the Afghan people in forging a pluralistic and democratic society.
The highway, which has been constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) of the Indian Army, is in Nimroz province and Indian engineers have repeatedly been targeted by the Taliban.
Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said recently that Taliban want India out of Afghanistan.