India closely watching developments in Afghanistan

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Dec 27, 2018, 08:16 PM(IST)

File photo: Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (R) and US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, (L) meet in Kabul, Afghanistan November 10, 2018. Photograph:( Reuters )

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India's official policy on the Afghan peace process is that it should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with the participation of the Government of Afghanistan.

India is "closely watching" recent development in Afghanistan regarding the peace initiatives and does not find any reason to be concerned about changes in US policy on Afghanistan. 

Sources have told WION that the "basis of US South Asia policy was not India front and centre but the US in Afghanistan". US South Asia policy under Trump administration had called for greater participation of India, something that had miffed Pakistan.

India's official policy on the Afghan peace process is that it should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with the participation of the Government of Afghanistan.

On recent participation of New Delhi at the non-official level during Moscow format talks on Afghanistan, sources said "We haven't spoken to the Taliban and that is our policy but India would like to be in all the processes since we have a legitimate interest in Afghanistan".

India sent 2 former diplomats-- Amar Sinha, India's former envoy to Afghanistan & TCA Raghavan at the non-official level at the Moscow talks.

US special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad will be visiting India in January during which he will be meeting Indian leadership and brief them about developments in Afghanistan.

Recent months have seen hectic parleys on peace in Afghanistan. Earlier this month Foreign Ministers of China, Afghanistan & Pakistan meet in Kabul and earlier this week Pakistani FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi was in Kabul, his 2nd visit to the country in one month. Iran, US, Russia have been engaging with the Taliban.

The development coming even as US media reported that US President Donald Trump may withdraw 7000 troops from Afghanistan, something that still is to be confirmed by Pentagon.

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