NEW DELHI - India's External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Thursday told the visiting Chairman of the High Peace Council, Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani, that his country can always count on India's support for development and peace. Led by Burhanudin Rabbani, a high level peace delegation from Afghanistan arrived on Thursday here on a two-day visit.
Rabbani is chairman of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan established by Afghanistan in September 2010 to facilitate the peace process in the war-ravaged nation.
"As your neighbor, friend and well wisher, we would like to see peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan in which all sections of the society, regardless of gender or ethnicity, can work shoulder to shoulder to secure a bright future for the country.
"In your quest for progress, economic development and social harmony, you can always count on India's unstinted support," S M Krishna told Rabbani.
Welcoming Rabbani, Krishna said the former is an old friend of India.
"I had the pleasure of meeting him during my visit to Kabul earlier in January this year when I was struck by his considerable understanding of the challenges confronting Afghanistan and the region," he said.
"We have historically enjoyed the closest of relations with the friendly people of Afghanistan. Our relationship is akin to a strategic partnership," Krishna said. The peace group is visiting on the invitation of the S M Krishna. Rabbani is meeting senior Indian officials and politicians during his visit. He met India's vice-president Mohammad Hamid Ansari during the day.
Visits of various delegations from Afghanistan is an ongoing process in view of the close cooperation of India and Afghanistan on various issues and sectors.
The two nations recently signed several pacts to boost cooperation and capacity building in various sectors.
India is concerned over the decision of USA to pull out from Afghanistan which it says could hurt India with the aggrandizement of the Taliban and create uncertainty in Afghanistan.