Kandahar: Amid a stand-off between the US and the embattled Afghan President, India on Saturday saluted Hamid Karzai's "extraordinary and brave" leadership in nurturing democracy and peace in the war-torn country.
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid, in his speech at the inauguration of Afghanistan's first national agriculture university here, backed Karzai and lauded his leadership in the last 12 years.
Khurshid, who arrived here earlier today on a day-long visit, said upcoming elections in the country were a testament to the fact that democracy had taken firm roots.
"These elections are a testament to the fact that democracy has taken firm roots in this country. It is also a testament to your extraordinary and brave leadership over the last 12 years, and the manner in which you have nurtured the plant of democracy in this country," he said.
"Like in India, today no one can predict the eventual election result in Afghanistan. Many of the presidential tickets that will fight elections represent political and democratic alliances between groups that one could never imagine will one day become allies in an electoral battle."
Khurshid, the first external affairs minister to visit Kandahar, made the remarks while jointly inaugurating the 'Afghan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University (ANASTU)' with Karzai.