India said that it is “deeply concerned at the upsurge in violence” and supported the call for “immediate ceasefire” as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday.
The Indian side emphasised to the US envoy that “putting an end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries is necessary for enduring and sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan”.
Jaishankar and Doval also mentioned the need for “protection of rights of all sections of the Afghan society, including Afghan Hindus and Sikhs”.
This was Khalilzad’s first visit to India after the US and Taliban signed an agreement in Doha on February 29 where they agreed that US and NATO troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan in 14 months. The deal, which is fraught with risks and uncertainties, poses many questions on the way forward.
Khalilzad, who was accompanied by the Senior Director in the US National Security Council, Lisa Curtis, and the US Ambassador to India, Ken Juster, provided an “update” on the US peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said.
“The US side recognized India’s constructive contribution in economic development, reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. They laid importance to India’s crucial and continuing role in sustainable peace, security and stability in Afghanistan,” the statement said. India has over a decade and a half made a commitment of $3 billion towards Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development.
Jaishankar and Doval, in their conversation with Khalilzad reiterated India’s continued support for “strengthening peace, security, unity, democratic and inclusive polity and protection of rights of all sections of the Afghan society”, the statement said.
It also said, “India is deeply concerned at the upsurge in violence and supports the call for immediate ceasefire and need to assist the people of Afghanistan in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.”
It also said that India remains engaged in extending humanitarian food and medical supplies to Afghanistan to deal with the situation created by coronavirus.
“It was emphasised that putting an end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries is necessary for enduring and sustainable peace and stability in Afghanistan”, the statement said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines