September 2019 \ Interviews \ DIPLOMATIC INTERVIEW
“Our ties are so close because India believes in Afghanistan”

India Empire magazine’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty caught up with Mr Tahir Qadiry, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in India, who spoke on a range of issues—from international relations to education, trade to medical tourism, and more ...

In earlier issues of the magazine we’ve highlighted the importance Afghanistan is giving to women empowerment. Kindly comment on the progress on this front…

Women have risen from a dark era when during the Taliban regime they were confined to a life behind four walls. Now, a new generation has come up that is committed, and has a vision. Afghans also observe and respect gender equality. Our current Government, fortunately, has been accommodating a lot of women, even at senior levels like never before. We now have deputy ministers at the level of security, for instance. We’ve a presence of more than 27 percent women in Parliament which exceeds the percentage in India and in the U.S. Women walk shoulder to shoulder with men in all spheres. Even in the scholarships that are availed by Afghan students, a significant number go to women. There is a very strong and vibrant presence of women in the media and entertainment space. All this augurs very well for our nation.


Kindly elaborate on the role of the India Afghanistan Foundation…

The Foundation is a landmark in the relationship between the two countries. The board meets twice a year in the two national capitals with members drawn from either side. The most recent board meeting was in Kabul. It is co-chaired by heads of mission on either side. The foundation receives a number of proposals for funding. We narrow down to the ones that seek to implement projects that improve bilateral ties and incorporate cultural diversities between our two nations, whether that is by printing of books and journals, by translation work, or any other means. We recently approved a dozen proposals and will fund them fully.

What are the major sectors where Indian businesses can look to invest in your country?

There is so much scope for pretty much anything you want to do. But let me tell you that I’d want to see India and Indian companies investing more in IT, simply because India has such an upper hand in this sector. I always say that India could build a hi-tech city in Afghanistan on the patterns of Bengaluru. Both in terms of investment income and human resource investment it would turn out to be very good.