India not party to talks with Taliban: Afghanistan CEO Abdullah Abdullah

NAYANIMA BASU New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018

Afghanistan’s CEO Abdullah Abdullah RV MOORTHY

Afghanistan working to revive peace talks with Taliban

India will not be part of the dialogue process with Taliban which will see participation from US, Pakistan and China along with the Afghan government, Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah said on Thursday.

The Afghan government is making all efforts to revive the peace dialogue with the Taliban in order to bring them into a meaningful engagement. As a result, US, Pakistan and China will be meeting this week in Kabul to restart the process. “We are keen to pursue the peace process. India’s position on the talks is very clear that the negotiations have to be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and that is what we have said … India is not directly linked with the activities of Taliban. In terms of influencing Taliban’s attitude, I think Pakistan has the maximum influence,” said Abdullah. He, however, said India is “fully in the picture” and will be updated on any developments that take place during this process of engaging with the Taliban.

“India is for a stable democratic inclusive Afghanistan. India’s position converges with what we want. India has a big stake in stabilization of the country and is part of that process,” he said.

He reiterated that only those countries are involved in the process that have either been impacted by their activities or can influence their ideology, thereby bringing them into the political machinery.

Abdullah, who was on a five-day visit to India, also admitted to the fact that although the reform has started the process is taking off slowly and gradually.

“Once they agree to give up violence and fight for their cause politically then they can be part of the government structure. But so far there is no hint from them on that. There is no commitment from Taliban that they will adhere to the Constitution,” he added.

Abdullah also lauded India’s role in the resettlement and development of the war-torn country. India has invested over $2 billion for the country’s development and it is also involved in several infrastructure projects, including the Chahbahar Port project that will connect Afghanistan.

India had also supplied three Mi-35 multirole helicopters to the Afghan army in December last year. One more of these helicopters will be delivered soon, Abdullah said.

“We are happy with support from India including the military part. It was being based on our priority. There is no limitation and there is no sort of redline,” he said.

Abdullah, who concluded his visit on Thursday, held meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Published on February 04, 2016

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