India hopes for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan: MEA

at 9:25 pm
MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi

New Delhi (NVI): Amid the ongoing Afghan peace negotiations and the US announcement of troops from Afghanistan, India today said that any political settlement in the war-ravaged country must be inclusive and should preserve the socio-economic and political gains of the past 19 years.

“India is of the view that an Afghan peace process should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi said today while addressing the weekly press briefing here.

He was responding to media queries on the announcement by the US of withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan before September 11, 2021.

“India supports a united, democratic and sovereign Afghanistan. We are deeply concerned about the increase in violence and targeted killings in Afghanistan. India has called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire,” Bagchi said.

The MEA spokesman said that India has noted the decision of the United States to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and to end its military operations there. “We are closely following the ongoing intra-Afghan peace process. Afghan people have seen more than four decades of war and unrest and deserve long-lasting peace and development,” he added.

In addition to this the MEA spokesman said that India has participated in the Doha Conference, the Geneva Conference and recently, the Heart of Asia Conference in Dushanbe. “India remains engaged with the Afghan stakeholders and also our regional and international partners regarding next steps,” he said.

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced that US troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan beginning May 1 and the process will be completed by September 11.

India has been one of the major stakeholders for restoring peace in Afghanistan and has condemned the targeted killings by Taliban in which many innocent civilians have lost their lives.

Last month, Afghan foreign minister Haneef Atmar had visited India and met his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. The EAM had underscored the importance of a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire for a successful Afghan peace process, in his meeting Atmar.