Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Kyrgyz counterpart Sapar Isakov on sidelines of World Government Summit in Dubai. The two leaders shared views on bilateral and regional issues.

Minister of State MJ Akbar in his Statement at Conference on Afghanistan in Tashkent on 26-27 March said that there cannot be any solution to the Afghan conflict "without principled commitment to law, to democracy as the basis of order and to human rights. At the centre of human rights is gender emancipation: the right of women to equality, education, social assertion and full participation in the economic and political life of Afghanistan...Without them the negotiating table will be an arid retreat towards regression rather than a platform for progress."

He added that the Conference was "a testament to the abiding commitment to an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled peace and reconciliation process. This Conference should be able to build upon the platform work done under various other multilateral fora such as the Kabul Process...Peace and reconciliation are difficult objectives in an atmosphere of terror and violence. We support strong action to pursue those who still choose the path of terrorism, aided by those who manipulate funds from an illicit narcotics trade to finance terror against innocent people." He expressed India’s commitment and support to "any process which can help Afghanistan emerge as a united, peaceful, secure, stable, inclusive and economically vibrant nation, with guaranteed gender and human rights. We must all conform to internationally recognized red-lines. I also wish to reiterate India's willingness and keenness to engage Afghanistan bilaterally and multilaterally, in cooperation with likeminded countries and international organisations."

A Conference titled "India@70" was organized by the Institute of Oriental Studies with support of the Indian Embassy in Kazakhstan. Several scholars, academics, students and faculty members of universities and colleges participated. Professors Madhavan Palat and Peter deSouza and Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar participated from India.

Second India-Kazakhstan Joint Business Council meeting organised by FICCI and Foreign Trade Chamber of Kazakhstan was attended by representatives of more than 30 Kazakh companies operating in various sectors of economy including banking, railways, healthcare, education, consumer goods, transportation etc. More than 100 Indian companies took part including GMR Group, Tata Projects Ltd, Artemis Hospitals, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Air India, Chandan Steel Group, Multiwyn Industries Pvt. Ltd, Escorts, Sonalika International Tractors Ltd, Reliance, Capexil and others. A road map was adopted on bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation.

An Agreement is being signed to deploy a Kazakhstan peacekeeping unit in Lebanon on the Indian base with the Indian battalion. Kazakhstan submitted this request as its troop size for UN peacekeeping mission is not large enough.

India and Kazakhstan are collaborating to jointly produce a Bollywood blockbuster titled "The Prince." The film is based in Afghanistan but will be shot in Kazakhstan because of insecurity in Afghanistan.

Indian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Prabhat Kumar met Akim (Mayor) of Almaty and held discussions to expand bilateral economic and commercial ties. Potential of enhancement of cooperation in tourism, culture and education was emphasised.
A delegation from Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) visited Bangalore, Mumbai and Gujarat to establish cooperation with leading financial institutions of India. Delegation held meetings with Securities and Exchange Board of India, Bombay Stock Exchange, International Financial Center of Gujarat, State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation, General Insurance Corporation of India, Dastur Reinsurance, Yes Bank etc. They discussed possibility of expanding cooperation in sphere of financial technologies. Kazakh delegation invited Indian organizations to attend inauguration of AIFC on July 5, 2018 in Astana.

Indian Embassy in Kazakhstan organized a Business-to-Business (B2B) Meeting for a delegation from Federation of Gujarat Industries. The delegation comprised representatives from 15 Indian companies in Gujarat from Pharmaceuticals, Agriculture & Food Processing, Healthcare and Hydrocarbon sectors.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan jointly with Agency for Development of Pharmaceutical Industry held an Uzbek-Indian Business Forum on Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industry with participation of Indian Minister of State of Chemical Industry and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandavia. Discussions on expanding and strengthening cooperation between entrepreneurs of the two countries were held. Agreement was signed between Andijan Region of Uzbekistan, and Ministry of Chemical Industry and Fertilizers of India to work to create an Uzbek-Indian free pharmaceutical zone in Andijan and start joint development of a business plan for this project.

Embassy of India in Tajikistan gifted 10 Ambulances to various regions of the country. Indian Ambassador emphasized that as a strategic partner, India is committed to assist Tajikistan in its socio-economic development and all such assistance is without any pre-conditions. 

Embassy of India in Tajikistan in cooperation with Tajik State Institute of Languages, Dushanbe organized a seminar on ‘Mirza Ghalib and his contribution to Persian literature.’’

An Indian delegation of experts visited Tajikistan to create awareness about Indian traditional medicine and develop linkages between businessmen of the two countries.
Work on Afghan section of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline got under way on February 23, 2018 with the ground-breaking ceremony of the gas pipeline. India was represented by MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs. After the project’s inauguration, Afghan Taliban, in a rare announcement, vowed to support and protect the pipeline in areas under its control. 


March 30, 2018

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About the Author

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar

Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia; President, Institute of Global Studies and Distinguished Fellow, Ananta Centre

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar belongs to the Indian Foreign Service and has acquitted his responsibilities in the diplomatic service for 34 years. He was Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia and has worked in senior diplomatic positions in Indian Embassies/Missions in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Geneva, Tehran, Dhaka and Bangkok and also at Headquarters in India. He negotiated for India in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and in negotiations for India-EU, India-ASEAN and India-Thailand Free Trade Agreements.

He contributed significantly to strengthening strategic ties and promoting cultural cooperation between India and USA, EU, Russia and other countries.Ambassador Sajjanhar worked as head of National Foundation for Communal Harmony to promote amity and understanding between different religions, faiths and beliefs. Ambassador Sajjanhar has been decorated by Governments of Kazakhstan and Latvia with their National Awards and by Universal Peace Federation with Title of ''Ambassador of Peace.'' Currently Ambassador Sajjanhar is President of Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi. He writes, travels and speaks extensively on issues relating to international relations, foreign policy and themes of contemporary relevance and significance. He appears widely on TV panel discussions. Ambassador Sajjanhar is interested in reading, music and travelling. His wife Madhu is an economist and an educationist. They have a son and a daughter both of who are accomplished singers. Their son passed out of Yale University and their daughter is pursuing her PhD at University of Minnesota.