Updated: March 31, 2021 8:19:14 am
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Tuesday that “for a durable peace in Afghanistan, what we need is a genuine ‘double peace’, that is, peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan,” and this “requires harmonising the interests of all, both within and around that country”.
He made these remarks at the ninth ministerial conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was also present, along with representatives of 30 other countries and a dozen regional and international organisations.
Underlining that “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,” Jaishankar said: “We attended the inaugural virtual session of the Doha talks. If the peace process is to be successful, then it is necessary to ensure that the negotiating parties continue to engage in good faith, with a serious commitment towards reaching a political solution.”
He said India “welcomes any move towards a genuine political settlement and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan” and appreciates “the international recognition of foundational principles that will determine their contours”.
“We support a regional process to be convened under the aegis of the United Nations. UN stewardship would help to take into account all relevant UN resolutions and improve the odds for a lasting outcome.”
He said “what happens in Afghanistan will surely affect the larger region” and though “the stakes in our discussions may be high” its “consequences are no less significant”.
A “stable, sovereign and peaceful Afghanistan is truly the basis for peace and progress in our region,” he said, adding that “ensuring that it is free of terrorism, violent extremism and drug and criminal syndicates is, therefore, a collective imperative”.
The situation in Afghanistan, he said, “continues to give cause for grave concern”. “The continued involvement of foreign fighters in Afghanistan is particularly disturbing. Heart of Asia members and supporting countries should, therefore, make it a priority to press for an immediate reduction in violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”
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