Mumbai, Newly-appointed Consul General of Afghanistan in Mumbai, Zakia Wardak, the first woman to hold the post, paid a courtesy call on Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, officials said here on Monday.
Expressing her keenness to promote bilateral business relations, Wardak said trade between the two nations can grow significantly with the opening of the Chabahar Port in Iran – located to the south of land-locked Afghanistan.
While promising to promote the Chabahar Port route, which is directly linked with Nhava-Sheva Port in Mumbai and Kandla Port in Gujarat, she said certain regulatory hurdles prevent the optimum utilisation of the Chabahar Port.
Koshyari assured that he would use his good offices with the Ministry of External Affairs to resolve the bilateral problems and boost trade between the two countries.
Wardak expressed her gratitude to India for help in constructing the new parliament building in Afghanistan and providing academic scholarships to a large number of students from that country.
Pointing out that she had “grown up in the midst of Indians, especially Sikhs”, in Afghanistan, Wardak said there are “no differences between the people of the two countries”.
Moreover, she complimented Bollywood films for doing a good job of promoting Hindi language which is understood by many in Afghanistan.
Brought together by Bollywood and cricket, India and Afghanistan share traditionally warm and friendly relations in different spheres, India has built around 200 schools there, awards 1,000 scholarships and hosts over 16,000 students here.
In a major highlight in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had jointly inaugurated the Salma Dam, a hydroelectric and irrigation project, renamed as the Afghan-India Friendship Dam.