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India calls Afghan presidential election 'important milestone'

Women cast their votes at a polling station in Herat in Afghanistan, on September 28, 2019. Photograph:( AFP )

WION New York, United States Sep 29, 2019, 07.45 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Calling "successful conduct" of Afghan presidential election as "important milestone", India has said that the election is "people's efforts to promote peace, security, stability, prosperity and democracy" in the country "amidst challenging circumstances."

Saturday's election was the third presidential election since 2001 after the fall of the Taliban regime following the American invasion.

Congratulating "Afghan people", Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said, they have demonstrated " their faith in democratic governance and constitutional processes despite threats, intimidation and violence."

According to the Afghan government, 72,000 security personnel were deployed with 9.6 million people registered to vote during the polls. Election results will be announced on October 30.

India has been a key development partner of Afghanistan since 2001. New Delhi has always maintained any US-Taliban engagement must not jeopardize gains of the last 18 years.  

Last week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in New York, "We understand the compulsions on the United States, 18 years is a long time to be fighting a war. Hats off to the United States... its had durability, commitment and persistence to do for so long. It is apparent that this is going to change. Questions we need to how much change, what are the consequence. Some of that is being negotiated... recognizing the compulsions of these change, many of the achievements of the last 18 years, those achievements should not be lost. Our interest that gains of the last 18 years are not jeopardized."
 
India backs "Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled" peace process and has been engaging with regional countries- Iran, Russia, China, Central Asian countries - regarding the Afghan peace process.