SAARC Yatra: Jaishankar in Afghanistan for talks


SAARC Yatra Jaishankar in Afghanistan for talksKABUL: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar arrived here today to hold talks with the Afghan leadership as part of his ‘SAARC Yatra’ aimed at firming up India’s ties with members of the grouping while reviewing regional and bilateral cooperation.

Jaishankar, who flew into Kabul from Islamabad amid light snow here, was received by senior Afghan officials and Indian High Commissioner Amar Sinha at the airport.

“India Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar arrives in Kabul as a part of ‘SAARC Yatra’,” Indian High Commission here tweeted.

Jaishankar began his call-ons soon after his arrival. He first called on Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah.

He will also hold talks with his Afghan counterpart and discuss regional and bilateral issues and later call-on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Jaishankar, who started his trip on Sunday with Bhutan and visited Bangladesh and Pakistan, will round off the first leg of his “SAARC Yatra” with Afghanistan.

Afghanistan recently suffered a natural calamity with about 250 people killed in a massive avalanche in a mountainous valley near the capital Kabul.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written to Afghanistan President Ghani to condole the loss of lives in avalanches in different parts of that country and offered help in rescue and relief efforts.

Jaishankar is visiting capital cities of SAARC nations to review various initiatives for the region, including SAARC satellites and regional university, as were proposed by Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Nepal for SAARC Summit last year.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) –
an economic and geopolitical grouping of eight countries located in South Asia – includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka as its members.–PTI