India condoles death of Afghan vice president

New Delhi, March 9: India Sunday condoled the death of Afghanistan’s First Vice President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, describing him as a close friend of India.

Vice President Hamid Ansari also condoled Fahim’s death.

In a message, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that he learnt of death of the Afghan first vice president with great sadness.

“He was a brave and fearless military commander, whose contribution to Afghanistan’s stabilization and reconstruction after over three decades of war and conflict will always be remembered,” he said.

“Marshal Fahim was also a close friend of India. We shall never forget his personal contribution to nurturing and strengthening the India Afghanistan strategic partnership.”

Fahim died Sunday at his Kabul home following cardiac arrest.

Ansari also expressed his condolences saying that he was deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Marshal Fahim.

Describing Marshal Fahim as a friend, Ansari said he was a fearless commander and one of the bravest sons of Afghanistan who devoted his entire life to combating the “dark forces of extremism and terrorism that continue to threaten Afghanistan and its people”.

“The people of India shall always remember Marshal Fahim for his tireless efforts to strengthen the India-Afghanistan strategic partnership. Today our prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved family and the friendly people of Afghanistan. May the Almighty give them strength and courage to bear their loss,” the vice president said.

IANS