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Taliban power pursuit has led to uncertainty in Afghanistan: Shringla

“I think the levels of violence and the fact that despite talks going on in Qatar and other places, their relentless pursuit of power through violence has made it an uncertain environment in any sense,” Shringla said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 19, 2021 8:45:54 am
Taliban power pursuit has led to uncertainty in Afghanistan: ShringlaForeign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

India on Friday said the Taliban’s relentless pursuit of power through violence has created an uncertain environment in Afghanistan and the situation in the country is “fluid” at this point in time.

And, with India stepping up its diplomatic activities in Afghanistan’s peace process as the US prepares for the troops withdrawal, Pakistan has said that at times it feels that New Delhi’s presence in the war-torn country is perhaps “larger than it ought to be”.

In an interactive session at a virtual conference organised by Public Affairs Forum of India, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla listed the withdrawal of US troops and the attempt by the Taliban to steadily expand its influence through “targeted assassinations” and “territorial aggression” as reasons for triggering the uncertainty.

“I think the levels of violence and the fact that despite talks going on in Qatar and other places, their relentless pursuit of power through violence has made it an uncertain environment in any sense,” Shringla said.

“India has always been for a peaceful solution, we have always called for a ceasefire, we have always advocated that there should be talks between the government and the Taliban and others that are involved in this process, involving all the neighbouring countries,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary said it would be difficult to say how things would work out in Afghanistan. “Many of those talks are on but as I said the situation is fluid and uncertain and at this point of time, it’s very difficult to say how things would work out,” he said.

Shringla’s remarks came in response to a question on how safe it will be for Indian companies to invest in the mining sector in Afghanistan in view of the withdrawal of US troops by September 11.

“We hope the time will come when companies can go in and invest and realise their returns on investments appropriately and there is peace and stability in the country,” he said. “Needless to say that is something that we are fervently hoping for as a neighbour and friend of Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan. But as I said the situation today is very fluid….”

Shringla said the US troops withdrawal would create an environment of uncertainty. “When they pull out, it creates an environment of uncertainty and we have to watch and see,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told Afghanistan’s Tolo news channel, “Obviously, you have sovereign relations and you have bilateral relations and you have every right to have sovereign and bilateral relations with India. You have trade with India. They come and carry out development work there, that’s completely fine with us.”

“But at times we feel that their presence is perhaps larger than it ought to be because they… don’t share a border with you,” he said in an interview which will be telecast on Saturday. Excerpts of the interview have been posted by the news channel on its Twitter handle.

When asked whether India’s presence in Afghanistan bothers Pakistan, Qureshi said, “Yes, If they use your (Afghan) soil against us, it bothers me.”

Asked how India is using Afghan soil for anti-Pakistan activities, he alleged: “Yes, they are… By carrying out terrorist activities.”

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