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What is the importance of India Afghanistan Friendship Dam in the bila...

  Sep 24, 2016

What is the importance of India Afghanistan Friendship Dam in the bilateral relations?

Salma Dam, officially the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, is a hydroelectric and irrigation dam project located on the Hari River in Chishti Sharif District of Herat Province in western Afghanistan. The Afghan cabinet renamed the Salma Dam to the Afghan-India Friendship Dam in a move to strengthen relations between the two countries. The hydroelectric plant produces 42 MW of power in addition to providing irrigation for 75,000 hectares of farmland (stabilising the existing irrigation of 35,000 hectares and development of irrigation facilities to an additional 40,000 hectares of land). The dam was opened in June 2016 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. It is a part of our India's soft power. It strengthens India's economic relation with Afghanistan. 

India seeks to expand its economic presence in Afghanistan as the international coalition fighting the Taliban withdraws combat forces. Especially, it wants to improve transport connectivity and economic collaboration with countries in Central and South Asia.  India and Iran inked a transit agreement on transporting goods to landlocked Afghanistan. The Indian government is investing more than US$100 million in the expansion of the Chabahar port in south-eastern Iran which will serve as a hub for the transportation of transit goods. Besides as a goodwill gesture, India i constructed a new Parliament complex for the Afghan government which was inaugurated on 25 December 2015 by Indian PM  Narendra Modi.