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Notwithstanding a significant deterioration in the security situation, impinging directly on us with the attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul in July 2008, we remained at the forefront of international efforts to assist Afghanistan in building a stable democratic and pluralistic society. The Zaranz-Delaram road giving Afghanistan access to the sea was formally inaugurated by EAM Shri Pranab Mukherjee and President Karzai on 22nd January, 2009. The implementation of the scheme of ICCR Scholarships and ITEC training programmes for Afghan nationals and the execution of community based, small development projects in the fields of agriculture, rural development, sanitation, vocational training, etc. is progressing satisfactorily. India continued to contribute for the Afghan Reconstruction Trust Fund and pledged a sum of US $ 1 million to the UNDP election fund. India has also pledged an additional US $ 450 million (over the US$ 750 million earlier committed) to effectively meet the requirements of our ongoing and future projects. President Karzai visited India in August 2008 and again in January, 2009.

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