New Delhi: Afghanistan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar said that India has a significant place in the Afghan peace process. India interests are tied to the peace and stability in the region. The Afghan Foreign Minister pointed out, therefore, Indian participation in the developments in Afghanistan is valid. Pakistan is demanding that India should not be a part of the Afghan peace process. Against that background, the statements of the Afghan Foreign Minister become noteworthy.
Afghan Foreign Minister held talks with Indian MEA S Jaishankar. Besides, he also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. It is said that detailed discussions regarding the situation in Afghanistan were held during the meetings. Foreign Minister Atmar shared important information that if the Taliban is willing to join the political process, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was willing to relinquish the position and call for fresh elections. At the same time, the Afghan Foreign Minister said that India is free to decide regarding its stand in respect of the Taliban.
In the past, India had termed the Taliban as a terrorist organisation and had issued a stern warning to the United States for signing a peace deal with Taliban. But Taliban delivered a message to India that it will not dance to the Pakistani tune, expressing willingness to talk to India. Some Indian analysts are advising the Indian government that the time has come to change the outlook regarding the Taliban. These analysts have advised the government to take a very cautious stand, citing Afghanistan’s current developments.
Major upheavals are seen in Afghanistan regarding the US military withdrawal. The US administration is apparently confused on whether to withdraw the military as per the peace deal signed with the Taliban or not. Taliban has once again started a show of strength, perpetuating a dangerous spate of violence. Whereas the Afghan military is retaliating strongly against the Taliban. Pakistan, Russia, China, and Iran are supporting the demand for US military withdrawal from Afghanistan. But the elected government in Afghanistan is warning that the US military withdrawal will have disastrous effects. India, too has warned that the United States should not withdraw its military from Afghanistan.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently visited India. It is being said that discussions regarding the situation in Afghanistan were held during the visit. Within a day of US Secretary’s visit, the Afghan Foreign Minister has come to visit India. This is not a mere coincidence; it clarifies that India is monitoring the developments in Afghanistan very seriously.