India extends support for 'immediate ceasefire' in Afghanistan; says Afghan process should respect rights of minorities

New DelhiWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Sep 12, 2020, 02:47 PM IST


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According to the United Nations report earlier this year, about 6000-6500 Pakistani terrorists are based in Afghanistan.

India has extended its support for a ceasefire in Afghanistan at the ceremony marking the beginning of talks between the Afghan government and Taliban in Doha.

 India's External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar who joined the meet virtually while reiterating that Afghan peace process should be "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled" must "respect national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan" & "promote human rights and democracy" .

He also stated that the process should "ensure interest of minorities, women and the vulnerable" & "effectively address violence across the country".

On the issue of terrorism, he said,"soil of Afghanistan should not be used for anti-India activities". According to the United Nations report earlier this year, about 6000-6500 Pakistani terrorists are based in Afghanistan.

He highlighted India's role as a development partner of Afghanistan, and how it reached out amidst COVID-19. New Delhi is Afghanistan's major development partner and has built number infrastructure projects in the country like India Afghanistan friendship dam in the western province of Herat & the Afghan Parliament in capital Kabul.  

Joint Secretary, Pakistan Afghanistan & Iran (PAI) division in ministry of external affairs, JP Singh is present physically at the ceremony.

India was present along with around 30 countries at the ceremony. All the countries that border Afghanistan have been invited which includes Iran, Pakistan and many central Asian countries.

WION was the first to break on Friday that India will be present at the ceremony in Doha. Official negotiations between the Taliban and Afghan government starts on Monday.

Earlier this year, India was present at the signing of US Taliban deal which was signed on February 29 in Doha. The then Indian envoy in Doha P Kumaran represented India.

Afghan govt is being represented by Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Afghan President’s Special Representative on Peace Affairs Abdul Salam Rahimi and State Minister for Peace Affairs Seyed Sa’adat Mansour Naderi. In his speech, Abdullah Abdullah called for a "humanitarian ceasefire".

Taliban is being represented by Abdul Ghani Baradar. 

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is in Qatar to attend the opening ceremony of Afghanistan peace negotiations. The Afghan government negotiating delegation reached for Doha on Friday to start peace negotiations with the Taliban group.