Following the Afghan Film Festival, a special interactive lecture by the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to India, H.E. Shaida Mohammad Abdali was organised on the topic of bilateral relationship between India and Afghanistan and how this relationship could be fostered from a political, economic and security perspective. It was held in collaboration with Mahratta Chambers of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA).

During his lecture, the Afghanistan Ambassador highlighted the need for deeper bilateral ties between the two countries to remove the malaise of terrorism. Citing India’s very supportive stance, he also used the forum to invite Indian entrepreneurs to Afghanistan especially in the domains of agriculture, energy, small-scale industries, defence, health and construction sectors.

On the issue of Taliban, Mr. Abdali said, ‘’We are a peace loving nation like India and we will not stop until we achieve peace in our country with the Taliban. We are also looking to improve our ties with Pakistan.’’

As the part of confidence building measures, there was mutual consensus on offering internships to Afghan students in Pune and helping them to develop skills required for setting up industries in Pune. This was supported by PIC & MCCIA members.

Dr. Dileep Padgaonkar, Chairman Programme Committee, PIC concluded the session by adding that Pune-Mumbai-Kabul should become an air-bridge by which South and Central Asia will become more accessible.