India congratulates Ghani on re-election as Afghan President

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New Delhi (NVI): Putting its weight behind Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, India today congratulated him on his re-election in the polls whose results have been contested by rival candidates.

External Affairs Ministry expressed hope that the new government and all political leaders in the war-torn country would work to strengthen national unity and conveyed India’s commitment to continue working with the new government and the democratic polity in strengthening bilateral strategic partnership.

The Election Commission, on February 18, announced that Ghani had secured 50.64 per cent vote in the September 28 elections.

His main rival and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah had got 39.52 per cent votes, the Election Commission said, while declaring the final results.

Abdullah, while alleging massive fraud, has refused to accept these results and vowed to form his own government.

“We congratulate President Dr Ashraf Ghani on his re-election following the announcement of final results of the Presidential elections by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan,” the Indian External Affairs Ministry said.

“India supports the democratic aspirations of the people of Afghanistan and remains committed to continue to work with the new Government and the democratic polity in strengthening our bilateral strategic partnership in fighting the scourge of externally sponsored terrorism and for an enduring and inclusive national peace and reconciliation which is Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled,” it added.

“We hope that the new Government and all political leaders in Afghanistan would work to strengthen national unity, promote inclusivity and protect the rights and interests of all sections of society,” the MEA said.