Peace process must respect sovereignty: Jaishankar at intra-Afghan negotiations

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attends the intra-Afghan talks virtually on Saturday.

New Delhi (NVI): The peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, respect national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, promote human rights and democracy, ensure the interest of minorities, women and the vulnerable, effectively address violence across the country, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today said.

The minister was speaking in the inaugural session of the intra-Afghan negotiations held in Doha via video conference.

Jaishankar’s participation was in response to an invitation extended to him by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar, Mohammad bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

In his address, Jaishankar referred to the millennia-old relationship between India and Afghanistan, which he said had withstood the test of time.

Jaishankar also highlighted India’s role as a major development partner of Afghanistan with over 400 projects completed in all the 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

He conveyed that India’s policy on Afghanistan had been consistent.

The External Affairs Minister also wished for the success of the Intra-Afghan negotiations in delivering to the people of Afghanistan what they have longed for – a peaceful and prosperous future in an independent and sovereign nation.

Taking it to twitter, Jaishankar said, “Addressed the conference on Afghan peace negotiations at Doha today. Conveyed that the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, respect national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, promote human rights and democracy, ensure the interest of minorities, women and the vulnerable, effectively address violence across the country.”

“The friendship of our peoples is a testimony to our history with Afghanistan. No part of Afghanistan is untouched by our 400-plus development projects. Confident that this civilizational relationship will continue to grow,” he added.

Joint Secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) in Ministry of External Affairs, J P Singh, in Doha also witnessed the ceremony.

The intra-Afghan talks, a significant development in the middle-east region, comes after the Afghan government released the last batch of six Taliban prisoners on Thursday.

Kabul and the Taliban had announced that the long-awaited “intra-Afghan” talks would begin on September 12 in Doha, Qatar.

-CHK