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SAARC Diary: India announces major commitments at the Afghanistan Conference 2020

SAARC Diary: India announces major commitments at the Afghanistan Conference 2020

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NEW DELHI, Nov 25: An Indian delegation headed by Dr S Jaishankar, Minister for External Affairs, attended a virtual meeting organised by the United Nations, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Government of Finland on 23-24 November at the Geneva summit. The purpose of the conference was to reaffirm the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan during the second half of 2015-2024 transition decade.

The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement stated, “Jaishankar stressed India’s long-term commitment to the growth of Afghanistan and the good of its citizens as a neighbour and strategic partner. As an important stakeholder, India looks forward to working hand-in-hand with the citizens of Afghanistan and the international community towards a stable, secure, independent, democratic and unified Afghanistan.”

To date, India’s growth portfolio in Afghanistan has amounted to more than three billion dollars and no portion of Afghanistan has remained  untouched by the 400 plus projects that India has pursued in all 34 provinces in that country. About 65,000 Afghan students have also studied in India.

The statement further said, “India has invested extensively in stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and that the achievements of the last two decades, must be maintained and that the rights of minorities, women and marginalised sections must be, safeguarded.”

India has just entered an agreement with Afghanistan on the construction of the Shatoot dam, which will provide clean drinking water to 2 million people in Kabul. India had installed a 202-km Phul-e-Khumri transmission to provide electricity to the city of Kabul.

Jaishankar also declared the start of Phase-IV of the High Impact Community Development Projects in Afghanistan, which envisages more than 100 projects worth USD80 million to be implemented by India in Afghanistan.

Jaishankar stated that Afghanistan’s growth has been constrained, by its landlocked geography and highlighted India’s attempt to provide alternate connectivity via the Chabahar port, Iran, and a dedicated Air Freight Corridor between the two countries. The statement also pointed out India’s humanitarian assistance of 75,000 tonnes of wheat to improve Afghanistan’s food security during the COVID-19 pandemic transported through Chabahar port.

Nepal: Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to visit Nepal from Thursday

Harsh Vardhan Shringla Foreign Secretary will make an official visit to Nepal on 26-27 November. It would be the first visit of the Foreign Secretary to Nepal since he assumed office in January.

In a statement the Ministry of External Affairs said the visit was  consistent with the pattern of frequent high-level exchanges between the two countries and the importance that India attaches to its relations with Nepal. During the visit, the Foreign Secretary will consult with his counterpart and other Nepalese officials to discuss the wide-ranging bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

In a statement the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, said Shringla would be visiting Nepal for two days “at the cordial invitation of the Foreign Secretary Mr Bharat Raj Paudyal.”

During the visit, the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries will hold a bilateral meeting and address a wide variety of areas of cooperation between Nepal and India. The Foreign Secretary of India is also scheduled to call on the high-level officials in Nepal and will also hand over the relevant assistance of Covid-19 to the Government of Nepal.

Sri Lanka: The inaugural edition of Lanka Premier League T20 to commence from tomorrow

The inaugural edition of the 2020 MY11Circle Lanka Premier League LPL T20, Franchise Cricket Tournament in Sri Lanka is scheduled to begin from Thursday. A total of 23 matches will be played in 21 days by five teams at the Hambantota Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium (MRIC). The tournament will end on December 16.

The five participating teams competing are Colombo Kings, Dambulla Viking, Galle Gladiators, Jaffna Stallions and the Kandy Tuskers.

Angelo Mathews led Colombo Kings, will take on Kusal Perera led Kandy Tuskers in the opening match and the final will be, played on 16, December.

The IPG Group is the Official Right Holder of the Sri Lankan Premier League (LPL) for the period 2020-2024. It includes Franchise Rights, Worldwide Marketing Rights, On-Ground Sponsorship, and Event Creation Rights.

Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India has secured exclusive pay television & IPTV broadcasting rights for the Sri Lankan Premier League (LPL) in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka except for non-exclusive FTA rights for the same countries. to broadcast in Pakistan.

Sony Six and Sony Six HD will broadcast the matches in India.

My11Circle was appointed the title sponsor with Rs 15 crore bid for the tournament. Incidentally, the company is endorsed by Saurav Ganguly the incumbent President of Board of Cricket Control in India and former Indian captain.

Irfan Patel, Munaf Patel, Sudeep Tyagi, Manpreet Gony from India are taking part in the league.

Two Indian Actors Sohail Khan owns Kandy Tuskers and Sachin Joshi  Dambulla Vikings while Dubai-based Indian Businessman Murfad Mustafa owns Colombo Kings. The rest two teams are owned by a London and a Pakistan based businessman.

(Venkatesh Iyer)

 

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