India, being major power, must be part of Afghan peace process: Envoy

New Delhi [India], March 30 (ANI): Afghanistan Ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay on Tuesday said that India, being a major power in the region, should be a part of the Afghan peace process at various forums as the country is suffering from international terrorism.

March 30, 2021

World

5 min

zeenews

New Delhi [India], March 30 (ANI): Afghanistan Ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay on Tuesday said that India, being a major power in the region, should be a part of the Afghan peace process at various forums as the country is suffering from international terrorism.
He further told ANI that it is imperative that foreign support must end for terrorist entities.
“India is an important partner to Afghanistan… We want India to be a part of all those forums and talks where peace is discussed. The peace of Afghanistan impacts India as well… India has adopted a principled position in the Afghan peace process. We would want India’s presence in those forums,” the Afghanistan envoy said while speaking exclusively to ANI.
On the subject of foreign governments — particularly Pakistan — supporting terror activities in Afghanistan, the Ambassador said that unless the funding for terrorist entities stops whether in or beyond the region, the conflict in the war-ravaged country would continue.
“Our President had made it clear that unless foreign support stops for terrorist entities, whether in the region or beyond, the conflict would continue. Afghans have suffered the most, it’s not a civil war in Afghanistan, it’s international terrorism… Wherever it may be coming from, we want all those non-state actors to stop the bloodshed, stop killing Afghans and stop destabilising the region,” Envoy said.
Speaking on External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s remarks at the 9th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference, the envoy said that Kabul was expecting the violence to drop after the agreement was made by the United States and the Taliban. “Sadly, the level of violence hasn’t dropped to the extent that common Afghans were expecting,” he said.
He said that the Government of Afghanistan and India have a common position and concerns on security in Afghanistan.
“We require assurances and guarantees that this peace process would deliver on the expectation of Afghan people and would ensure a safer Afghanistan and a safer broader region,” he added.
When asked about his stance on New Delhi backing the UN-backed ceasefire, Mamundzay said that it was a “very principled-position from India”.
“India wants a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan — we are grateful for that position, India is supporting the Afghan government and the Afghan people. The violence has to be stopped and dramatically reduced,” he said.
Mamundzay also welcomed the ceasefire between India and Pakistan stating that Kabul wants a peaceful neighbourhood where prosperity and tranquillity exists. “Nobody benefits from insecurity and instability. We welcome the developments that welcome a larger and positive impact on the security of the broader region… We hope that the developments last for long,” he added.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking at the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process conference here on Tuesday highlighted the need for ‘double peace’ – peace in and around Afghanistan, while stressing the importance of negotiating in good faith to reach a political solution.
Speaking at the conference, Jaishankar noted that the last few months had witnessed an escalation in targeted killings of civil society, adding that 2020 marked a 45 per cent increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan over 2019. He called on the conference members to press for an immediate reduction in the violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
“For a durable peace in Afghanistan, what we need is a genuine ‘double peace’, that is, peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan. It requires harmonizing the interests of all, both within and around that country. India has been supportive of all the efforts being made to accelerate the dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban, including intra-Afghan negotiations,” he said.
The Doha agreement was signed in February 2020 between the Taliban and United States with an aim to end the 18-year old conflict in Afghanistan.
The agreement calls for a full US withdrawal from Afghanistan if the terror group upholds counterterrorism commitments such as denying safe haven to al Qaeda.
Meanwhile, the Taliban warned the United States on Friday against defying a May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, promising a “reaction” though failing to specify exactly what it would be. (ANI)

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