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India backs Afghanistan peace talks, but distrusts Taliban-ISI ties | India News

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NEW DELHI: When the Taliban sat in Doha For its first real and direct engagement with the Afghan government for peace, India participated in the opening session of negotiations with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, underlining the need to address the issue of violence in the war-torn country and its surroundings.
Without naming Pakistan, or any Pakistan-based terrorist groups with ties to the Afghan Taliban, Jaishankar said India’s expectation was that Afghanistan’s soil would never be used for anti-Indian activities.
The intra-Afghan talks followed the US peace accord with the Taliban in February that bypassed the elected government in Kabul. Unlike then, when the Indian Ambassador to Qatar participated in the event, a high-level delegation led by MEA Deputy Secretary for the PAI (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) division, JP Singh, traveled to Doha on this occasion. to attend the opening ceremony.
In his virtual speech, while calling for an immediate and complete ceasefire, Jaishankar said that India’s policy on Afghanistan had been consistent. He said that India believed that any peace process should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, respect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and preserve the progress made in establishing a democratic Islamic Republic in Afghanistan.
Significantly, he added, the interests of minorities, women and vulnerable sectors of society must be preserved and the problem of violence must be effectively addressed throughout the country and its surroundings.
India remains concerned about the Taliban’s ties to Pakistan’s ISI and the latter’s efforts to use the Haqqani network to attack Indian interests in the country, although Pakistan is said to no longer enjoy the kind of influence over the Taliban. like in the past. As Jaishankar highlighted in his speech, India has been a major development partner for Afghanistan with more than 400 projects completed in all 34 Afghanistan provinces.
Islamabad, which facilitated the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban, slapped its back on Saturday with its Foreign Minister, SM Qureshi, in his speech on the occasion, saying that the negotiations were the fruit of the ” combined efforts “of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
India has been wary of terrorist groups like JeM and LeT’s ties to the Taliban. A UN report had said earlier this year that LeT and JeM fighters were “co-located” with the Taliban in Afghanistan. After another round of counterterrorism dialogue this week, India and the United States, in a joint statement, underscored the urgent need for Pakistan to take “immediate, sustained and irreversible” measures to ensure that no territory under its control is used for terrorist activities. attacks, and promptly bring the perpetrators of such attacks, including Mumbai and Pathankot of 11/26, to justice.
Jaishankar also touched on the age-old relationship between India and Afghanistan which, he said, had stood the test of time.
According to MEA, the minister’s participation was in response to an invitation from Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.
Jaishankar also wished the negotiations among the Afghans successful to deliver to the people of Afghanistan what, he said, they have longed for: a peaceful and prosperous future in an independent and sovereign nation.
Clock Afghanistan’s soil should never be used for anti-Indian activities: S Jaishankar

Times of India

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