WION New Delhi, Delhi, India
May 17, 2019, 07.29 PM
Mohammad Omar Daudzai, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani's special envoy for peace and chief executive of Afghanistan's high peace council was in Delhi on Friday and met with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
In an exclusive conversation with WION's Principal Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Daudzai lauded India's role in building a strong state in Afghanistan and said New Delhi has a legitimate interest in the Afghan peace process. On Pakistan, he said that Islamabad needs to be encouraged to shun the use of terror as a policy.
WION: What transpired in your meet with EAM and NSA?
Mohammad Omar Daudzai: Afghanistan and India are very close partners. We have signed the strategic partnership document. India, so far, has fulfilled its commitment as a strategic partner very well. We discussed some issues related to that and also peace, reconciliation and regional coordination that is necessary for reconciliation.
WION: How do you see India's role in the Afghan peace process?
Mohammad Omar Daudzai: India is a very important player now, globally and regionally. India has invested generously in Afghanistan's peace process. Democracy in Afghanistan is important for India. India has to be involved and should be aware of what is going on. We are committed to making sure that India is with us in every step we take.
WION: What are your expectation from New Delhi?
Mohammad Omar Daudzai: Overall, India has helped us build a strong state, but we need further help to strengthen the state. For the peace process to prevail, we need a strong state. India is playing a key role together with our western partners. We want India to continue with it.
WION: What is the current status of the Afghan peace process?
Mohammad Omar Daudzai: The Americans and the Taliban are talking about a possible US withdrawal plan. Taliban is clarifying its relationship with terrorists and terror groups and have given a commitment that they will not keep ties with them. The next stage will be a dialogue primarily between the Afghan state and the Taliban. Ultimately, it should all reach a sustainable ceasefire.
WION: Your thoughts on the role played by Iran and China?
Mohammad Omar Daudzai: Afghanistan has very important geography. It is located at the crossroads, whether you go from the Middle East to India or India to central Asia, you cross Afghanistan. Instability in Afghanistan is preventing a lot of regional mega projects to be implemented. So, it is important for all those countries to be involved in the arrangement. Glad to see they are coming with the regional initiative that may, hopefully, lead to peace in Afghanistan.
WION: How do you see Pakistan's role in Afghanistan and its support to terror?
Mohammad Omar Daudzai: Well, we want to see three countries to live together in peace. Like you have breakfast in Kabul, lunch in Islamabad and dinner in Delhi. That is possible if we have the link between these three countries. Terrorism and war are the main hindrances. We should all come together, get rid of this menace and live in peace together. We will have to encourage Pakistan to change on the issue of terror.
Daudzai lauded India's role in building a strong state in Afghanistan and said New Delhi has a legitimate interest in the Afghan peace process.