Afghanistan’s High Peace Council Secretary and President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Envoy Mohammad Umer Daudzai on Friday said that National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval agreed the conflict in Afghanistan should be solved through direct talks, led and owned by the Afghan government.
Daudzai’s comments assume significance since the US has been leading the talks with the Taliban, which has often refused to negotiate with the Afghan government.
Daudzai, who met Doval and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday in separate bilateral meetings, tweeted, “Visited India & met Mr.Ajit Doval, India’s NSA in New Delhi. Discussed the role of regional countries in the Peace process. In particular, emphasized on India’s role in the government led #AfghanPeaceProcess.”
He further wrote, “The Indian NSA also agreed that conflict in Afghanistan should be solved through direct talks, led and owned by the Afghan government.”
India has recently engaged with US, China, Russia and Iran among others on the situation in Afghanistan. Speaking at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), the chief executive of the Afghanistan High Peace Council, Daudzai said that India’s role is “key” to the peace in Afghanistan.
“We are fully satisfied with support from India. The entire region is not on the same page but India and Afghanistan are on the same page,” he told an audience, comprising of the diplomatic and strategic affairs community in Delhi.
He also said that on democracy, Afghanistan takes “inspiration from India” as it built the Afghan Parliament. He also expressed gratitude for India’s help in defence, as it has handed over replacement of two attack helicopters on Thursday.
MEA official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “EAM @SushmaSwaraj & Foreign Secretary met Afghanistan’s High Peace Council Secretary & President Ghani’s Special Envoy @Umerdaudzai2 ,who briefed the Indian leadership on the outcome of the recently held Loya Jirga. India expressed its support for sustainable peace in Afghanistan.”
According to Daudzai, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban are discussing four major areas — the US withdrawal from that country, Taliban’s relationship with terrorist groups, intra-Afghan dialogue, and ceasefire. However, the Afghan government has added one more issue under the rubric of Taliban’s relationship with the terrorist groups — about Taliban’s relationship with Pakistan.
He said that the Taliban was born in Pakistan and the relationship between Pakistan and Taliban remains. However, he was of the view that China is concerned about threat to its flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor from the situation in Afghanistan.
Daudzai also gave an optimistic assessment of the schedule of the Presidential elections in Afghanistan, scheduled to be held before September 29.