As peace talks with Taliban begin, India extends support for ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Afghanistan
India has extended its support for a ceasefire in Afghanistan at the ceremony marking the beginning of talks between Afghan Govt and Taliban in Doha.
India’s External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar, who joined the meet virtually, reiterated that Afghan peace process should be “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” and it should “respect national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan” as well as “promote human rights and democracy”.
He also stated that the process should “ensure the interest of minorities, women and the vulnerable” & “effectively address violence across the country”.
On the issue of terrorism, Jaishankar said, “soil of Afghanistan should not be used for anti-India activities”. According to a United Nations report earlier this year, about 6000-6500 Pakistani terrorists are based in Afghanistan.
He highlighted India’s role as a development partner of Afghanistan, and how it reached out amidst the coronavirus pandemic. New Delhi is Afghanistan’s major development partner and has built number infrastructure projects in the country like India Afghanistan friendship dam in the western province of Herat & the Afghan Parliament in capital Kabul.
Joint Secretary, Pakistan Afghanistan & Iran (PAI) division in the Ministry of External Affairs, JP Singh is present physically at the ceremony.