Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday jointly inaugurated the renovated Stor Palace in Kabul through video conferencing.
During the video conference, Prime Minister Modi assured that India’s 1.25 billion citizens would always be on Afghanistan’s side in its quest to establish regional peace, security and stability.
Prime Minister Modi said that India and Afghanistan have always been close friends, and added that the restored Stor Palace is reminder of the glory of Afghanistan’s rich traditions, and also a reminder to all those who can’t see beyond shadow of violence.
“The Stor palace has been the setting for many momentous historical events. To those who cannot see beyond shadows of violence in Afghanistan, the restored Stor palace is a reminder of the glory of Afghanistan’s rich traditions. And for our Afghan brothers and sisters, it revives the beauty, the richness and splendor of lost memories of Afghan society. True to the foundations of our ties, it links the present of our friendship to the historical bonds of our linkages. I must commend all the artists, experts and consultants who worked day and night to accomplish this delicate task,” he said.
“Afghanistan is India’s immediate neighbour. And, in our hearts and minds, Indians and Afghans have always been close friends. Today, we once again come together to celebrate yet another achievement of our friendship and take another step in the fruitful journey of our cooperation,” he added.
“Fewer things bring greater joy than getting together with good friends to celebrate successful completion of joint efforts,” he said while thanking President Ghani.
“The India, Afghanistan and Iran Transit Corridor that we sighed this year was another landmark in our partnership. It manifested our clear and common determination to build new pathways for Afghanistan’s economic progress and prosperity. The Salma Dam will renew not just economy and agriculture of Afghan’s Heart region, but will build strong pillar of support for Afghanistan’s overall growth,” he added.
The Prime Minister further insisted that the pledge of our partnership and strength of our friendship with Afghanistan is unwavering.
“Today’s event is a testimony to the resolve and range of our cooperative endeavours. We want each Afghan to flourish and your society to be benefited from fruits of economic growth. Whatever may be the odds, India will work with you for a bright future for all Afghans,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Ghani expressed ‘sincere appreciation’ to the Indian Government and its people, and insisted that the roots of friendship between both the countries have gone to depth of history.
“We are ready to spare no effort in protecting peace, overcome terror and extremism and work for prosperity of our nations. We, Afghanistan and India, both have decided to use our history for the advancement of our nations,” he said.
India has played a significant role in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process in Afghanistan over the past few years.
A tripartite agreement was signed in between the Aga Khan Development Network, the Afghanistan and India for the comprehensive restoration of the Stor Palace, located on the grounds of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Initially built as a one-story pavilion during the reign of Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, the Stor Palace, also known as Qasr-e-Stor, was expanded on at least two occasions in the 20th century.
In 1919, one of the rooms in the palace was used for the signing of the Rawalpindi agreement, which led to Afghanistan being declared an independent sovereign state.
It housed the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 1965, when most functions were then relocated to a new building located on the eastern side of the Afghan capital.