|05NEWDELHI6308||2005-08-12 12:51:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy New Delhi|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 006308
1. (C) India stands ready to provide any assistance
Afghanistan requests for elections and Parliamentary
training, MEA Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran)
Dilip Sinha told PolCouns on August 12. The Prime Minister
will lay the cornerstone of the Indian-constructed Parliament
building during his visit to Kabul tentatively scheduled for
August 28-29, and 30 Afghan Parliament Secretariat employees
are currently in New Delhi taking training at India's Bureau
of Parliamentary Affairs. Sinha noted the GOI will run
courses not only for secretariat employees, but also for new
MPs coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, and welcomed
the prospect of partnering with US or other donors to make
these courses for Afghan Members of Parliament more useful.
2. (SBU) The GOI is moving ahead with plans for a vocational
training program (reftel), Sinha reported, and the US, the UN
Development Program, or any other international donor could
fund supplies and training for this project once India kicks
it off. Sinha welcomed any other USG suggestions for
cooperative projects, either under the US-India Democracy
Initiative or otherwise.
Status of Indian Projects
3. (C) Sinha provided further detail on the status of
several Indian reconstruction projects. The contract for the
Salma dam construction has just been awarded to the
contractor KEC. However, construction on the Zaranj-Delaram
road has slipped due to Iranian foot-dragging on providing
supplies and materials for the road construction. The new
completion target is December 2007, delayed from March 2007.
4. (C) MEA recently signed a contract with PowerGrid, the
contractor for the Kabul to Pul-i-Khumri power transmission
line, to open its office in Kabul and begin work there.
While New Delhi's repeated requests to Pakistan for land
transit rights for reconstruction supplies have fallen on
deaf ears, Sinha reported a shift in Indian tactics: as the
Pul-i-Khumri project requires supplies, the GOI will make
individual requests to Pakistan to allow the transport of
specified equipment by land, since the items are going to get
to Afghanistan one way or another.
5. (U) India has also completed reconstructing the Habibia
school, Sinha reported, despite delays in transporting the
bulk of the furniture by sea and land to avoid Pakistan.
India even resorted to flying in at great expense a
bare-bones set of furnishings to allow classes to start. As
a promising symbol of US-India cooperation in Afghanistan,
the Indian contractors refurbishing the school repaired a
commemorative plaque placed at the school in 1954 to mark a
previous American-provided renovation, and added reference to
the current Indian role.
Comment: We Need to Start Working Out Ideas
6. (C) The UN Democracy Fund kickoff in New York and
Parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, both coming in
September, will be significant and high-visibility
opportunities to showcase our partnership in reconstruction
in Afghanistan and the US-India Democracy Initiative. We
should quickly work out concrete proposals for collaboration,
such as joint training of parliamentarians or stationing of
Indian technical experts with PRTs, to have something to show
by the time of these events. India is ready and willing to
work with us on the long term task of building democracy in
Afghanistan. We should make the most of it.