Not Just A Library, As Trump Says: List Of $3 Bn Indian Assistance in Afghanistan

Government countered the claim made by Trump by pointing out that India’s investments in Afghanistan were on a much more massive scale than Trump believed.

Manila (Philippines): Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump, in Manila, Philippines on Nov 13, 2017. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Mumbai: Dams, transmission lines, the parliament building, roads, training assistance for security forces: These are some of the projects India has completed as part of its $3-billion commitment to Afghanistan over 17 years to 2018.

While defending his move to slash US investments overseas, US President Donald Trump on January 2, 2019, mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan. The government countered this by pointing out that India’s investments in Afghanistan were on a much more massive scale than Trump believed.

“India may be building small libraries as part of the community development initiative, but most of its investments in Afghanistan were on mega infrastructure projects including the 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram, the Salma Dam and the new Afghan Parliament building,” the Hindustan Times reported on January 3, 2019, citing government sources.


Trump Quote

Source: The White House (From 1:09:00)

Here’s all you need to know about India’s development assistance to Afghanistan:

Over the last four years, 2014-15 to 2017-18, India has given Rs 2,217 crore ($344 million) as development assistance to Afghanistan, a government reply to the Rajya Sabha (parliament’s upper house) said on August 9, 2018. The government further informed the house that since 2014, seven projects had been completed and 12 are ongoing.

Here’s list of completed/upcoming development projects and assistance by India to Afghanistan from government’s official releases:

Afghanistan_Parliamentary Report

Source: Lok Sabha, Twenty First Report of the Committee on External Affairs (2017-18) on Demands for Grants 2018-19 of the Ministry of External Affairs; March 9, 2018

LS Assitance AF2

Source: Lok Sabha; August 2, 2017

LS_Assistance To Af

Source: Lok Sabha; March 16, 2016

The government of India highlighted the US government’s appreciation of India’s contribution towards stability and assistance in Afghanistan citing statements by President Trump and the then US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, in a reply to the Rajya Sabha (parliament’s upper house) on March 8, 2018.

RS reply on US to India

Source: Rajya Sabha, March 8, 2018

Afghanistan is crucial to India’s energy security because a critical gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India will pass through the country (and Pakistan), IndiaSpend had reported in July 2015. This is commonly referred to as the TAPI (Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India) project. Afghanistan also represents investment potential for Indian companies in several sectors.

Reactions on twitter over Trump’s jibe:

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