India’s goodwill hunting


Here are the highlights of India’s investments in Afghanistan.

Here are the highlights of India’s investments in Afghanistan.

Community Projects

Around 433 projects worth $120 million (Rs 890 crore) have been completed in Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, including the construction of schools, government buildings, roads, sports facilities and health clinics. Another $80 million (Rs 593 crore) was committed last year for 110 more projects

Salma Dam

This hydro-electric and irrigation dam project in Herat was built by India in 2016 at an estimated cost of $300 million (Rs 2,220 crore). Also called the Afghan-India friendship dam, it produces about 42 MW of power and provides irrigation to 75,000 hectares of farmland

Zaranj-Delaram Highway

This 218 km-long highway built by the Border Roads Organisation and completed in 2009 cost over $150 million (Rs 1,110 crore). The highway connects Afghanistan’s Garland highway (which links major provinces and is important for trade) to its border with Iran

Afghan Parliament

Spread over 86 acres in Kabul, the Afghan Parliament was built by India at a cost of $90 million (Rs 667 crore) and handed over in 2015

Stor Palace

In 2016, India helped restore the Stor palace in Kabul, which was the venue of the 1919 Rawalpindi agreement that made Afghanistan an independent nation. The project was completed at a cost of $6 million (Rs 44 crore) and houses the Afghan foreign affairs ministry

Capacity Building

Every year, an average of 3,500 Afghan nationals undergo training and education in various Indian institutes under a sponsorship scheme. More than 15,000 Afghan students are also pursuing their education in India

Health Infra

In 2015, India reconstructed the 400-bed Indira Gandhi Institute for Child Health in Kabul that it had built in 1972. It has also constructed numerous health clinics in Afghan’s border provinces

Power Supply

To increase the power supply to Kabul, India built four sub-stations and completed a 220 kv DC transmission line in 2016. Telecom infrastructure in various provinces was also refurbished


India has gifted Afghanistan 400 buses and 200 mini-buses to enhance urban transportation, as well as 105 utility vehicles for municipal operations

Arms Supply

In 2015, India gave Afghanistan four Mi-24 attack helicopters. Recently, it provided two more as replacements under an agreement with Belarus


Despite Pakistan denying India an overland route to Afghanistan, Indo-Afghan trade has grown steadily as a result of the setting up of an air freight corridor. In 2019-20, bilateral trade was valued at about $1.3 billion (Rs 9,644 crore), with Afghanistan’s exports valued at about $500 million (Rs 3,710 crore)

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