SCO Summit: Narendra Modi meets Ashraf Ghani in Bishkek, assures Afghanistan president of India's support in conducting elections

Bishkek: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured President Ashraf Ghani that India will support Afghanistan to ensure that a "legitimate government is chosen through the democratic process", said sources on Thursday. Modi who held a bilateral meeting with Ghani on sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, promised that India will fulfill all expectations of Afghanistan.

 SCO Summit: Narendra Modi meets Ashraf Ghani in Bishkek, assures Afghanistan president of Indias support in conducting elections

Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of SCO Summit in Bishkek on Thursday. ANI

The war-torn nation is scheduled to undergo three elections, presidential, the provincial councils and the Ghazni parliamentary elections simultaneously on 28 September. The elections which were supposed to occur on April 20 were postponed due to "mounting pressure" on Independent Election Commission in Kabul to conduct effective voting.

Afghanistan has a long troubled history of elections. Last year, the October elections were marred by roadside bomb attacks by Taliban. The problems also included malfunctioning of biometric voter verification equipment, incomplete voter lists and huge delays at polling sites.

Citing Bangladesh example, Modi highlighted the importance of cooperation, sources said. Meanwhile, during the talks, Ghani apprised the development in the peace process led by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, to Afghanistan. Notably, Khalilzad has held many rounds of talks with the Taliban but no agreement has been reached yet. On Monday, the new rounds of discussion were started to revive the stalled talks.

Ghani also urged Modi to see terrorism and drugs through a single prism fueling the other. The two leaders also discussed Pakistan. Ghani raised questions on the "sincerity of Pakistan" in fighting terrorism, sources added. Afghanistan and India both have blamed Pakistan for supporting and harbouring terrorist groups. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had also strongly condemned the terror attack that took place in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama killing around 40 CRPF personnel, which happened on 14 February this year.

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Updated Date: Jun 14, 2019 18:40:08 IST