Tuesday, March 21, 2023
HomeDiplomacyA day after Trump jibe, NSA Ajit Doval meets Afghan counterpart Mohib

A day after Trump jibe, NSA Ajit Doval meets Afghan counterpart Mohib

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Doval reiterates India’s support to peace and reconciliation efforts that are ‘Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled’.

New Delhi: India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval met his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib in the national capital Friday to take stock of the changing situation in Afghanistan.

As the 17-year war continues unabated in Afghanistan, the NSAs are believed to have discussed the plan “hatched by America” wherein on the one hand it is talking to the Taliban directly through Pakistan, and on the other it is reducing the presence of its troops by half citing surge in costs, sources told ThePrint.

Mohib was officially invited to India by Doval to discuss the security situation. He is expected to meet other Indian officials also during his three-day visit here.

Ever since the Ashraf Ghani government came to power in Afghanistan, it has not been able to clearly spell out to the US its displeasure at involving at Pakistan in the peace talks or in the reconciliation process with the Taliban, sources said.

The meeting of the NSAs comes a day after US President Donald Trump mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not doing enough in Afghanistan. The US wants India to send its armed forces there and fight the Taliban, which New Delhi has refused.

India is in a catch-22 situation of sorts because neither is it part of the Afghan peace talks nor is it keen to send its troops to fight the Taliban there.

‘Afghan led peace efforts’

In a statement issued after the meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Mohib briefed the Indian side on the security situation, the holding of parliamentary elections and the scheduled presidential elections, and efforts of the Afghanistan government for peace and reconciliation.

It also said Doval reiterated that India will continue to support all efforts for peace and reconciliation that are “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled”.

As the Americans continue with their high-handedness, the Afghan President recently appointed Amrullah Saleh as the interior minister, who is known to be a strong critic of Pakistan and Taliban.

Also read: No, Mr Trump, India has never built a library in Afghanistan

‘Better understanding’

“The situation has now become extremely volatile in Afghanistan with negative implications for India. Americans are dealing with Taliban themselves, and on top of that it is seeking Pakistan’s assistance,” said former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal.

“So it is clear that the reconciliation process is not Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. This creates a serious security situation for us,” Sibal added.

According to him, the withdrawal of US forces from the war-ravaged country will only empower the Taliban and strengthen Pakistan’s position.

“With Americans talking to Taliban and China also being involved in the peace process, it is imperative that the NSAs meet for a better understanding of the situation panning out there,” Sibal said.

Saleh is also visiting India next week and will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss the ongoing situation.

His visit will coincide with the visit of US representative for Afghanistan peace talks Zalmay Khalilzad, whose main agenda will be to discuss India’s role and efforts in Afghanistan in partnership with the US.

Also read: Delhi & Taliban at talks table after IC-814, in coordinated move with US, Afghanistan


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