‘Abduction won’t stop India’s Afghan aid work’

Kolkata, June 10 (IANS) Efforts by some people violently forcing Indian aid workers to leave Afghanistan won’t succeed because people in the war-torn country have always wanted amicable ties with India, said a member of the Afghan community in Kolkata.

“A few people want to destroy the (India-Afghan) ties. If you look at the newspapers, they talk about India-Afghanistan friendship,” Amir Khan, president, Kolkata chapter of Khudai-Khidmatgar (Servants of God), told IANS.

Khan was speaking in the backdrop of the abduction of Indian aid worker Judith D’Souza by suspected Islamists in Kabul. D’Souza is from Kolkata and has been working with global aid agency, Aga Khan Foundation, in the war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Khan said: “These attacks on Indians won’t work as people in both countries want good relations.”

“I hope the woman returns home safe. Kabul is relatively safe but when foreigners move out of the capital then there is a reason to worry over security as the government doesn’t have much control,” the Afghani said.

Khan is one of the roughly 5,000 Afghans living in city pockets like Kashipur.

Once known for selling asafoetida, dry fruits and soorma, they are now into transport, money lending and tailoring ventures.

Elaborating on the conditions in Afghanistan, Khan a second generation Afghani living in Kolkata, said 40 years of war decimated livelihoods and opportunities in his native country.

“A lot of work needs to be done, especially for women. People still find it difficult to eke out a living. If Indians are going there to work and improve conditions, then it is a necessary step,” Khan said.



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