India on Friday stressed the need for a legitimate government in Afghanistan and a reduction in violence, saying the situation in the war-torn country has implications for regional security and stability.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar set out India’s position at a joint press conference with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow amid efforts by the Taliban to present itself as a key player in the aftermath a campaign of targeted assassinations and attacks on critical neighborhoods.
âViolence cannot be the solution to the situation in Afghanistan. And ultimately, who rules Afghanistan has an aspect of legitimacy. I think this is something that cannot and should not be ignored, âJaishankar said in response to a question about the ability of the world community to make peace with Afghanistan being controlled by the Taliban. .
Expressing concern at the “direction of events in Afghanistan,” Jaishankar referred to India’s stated policy of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
âIn many cases, when there is volatility in a society, we let the people of that country take care of it. But Afghanistan is a very different case because for more than 30 years now there have been international conferences, groups [and] formats to discuss how to stabilize and restore peace to Afghanistan, âhe said.
âAnd the reason is that it has proven implications for regional security and stability. So the point we are currently emphasizing is that we have to see a reduction in violence, âhe added.
In his opening remarks at the press conference, Jaishankar said the situation in Afghanistan “occupies a large part of our attention as it has direct implications for regional security.”
He added: âWe believe that the immediate need of the day is truly a reduction in violence and if we are to see peace in Afghanistan and around Afghanistan, it is important that India and Russia work together and s ‘assure that much of the progress that we have seen in economic, social and democratic terms is maintained. We are both committed to an independent, sovereign, united and democratic Afghanistan. “
Lavrov said the situation in Afghanistan was of “great concern” to Russia, as violence could spill over the borders of Central Asian states.
Jaishankar’s remarks came a day after a Taliban delegation led by key negotiator Shahabuddin Delawar, who was in Moscow for talks with Russian officials, claimed the group controls â85% of Afghan territoryâ.
Delawar told a press conference in Moscow that the United States “was forced to leave our territory” because the Taliban brought the Afghan people to their side under “the principle of Islam”. Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen tweeted that Delawar’s delegation met Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan, and discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan and the peace process.
Shaheen said that Delawar had “maintained that all borders now in [Taliban] control will remain open and functional â, and that the groupâ would not target diplomats, embassies and consulates, NGOs and their staff â.
India called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire to end the violence that coincided with the early withdrawal of US forces, 90% of which have been completed. US President Joe Biden has said the troop withdrawal will be completed by August 31, raising concerns in the region that the resulting vacuum will add to instability in Afghanistan and have far-reaching implications. of security.
Although New Delhi has strongly supported the government of President Ashraf Ghani, it has recently opened up channels of communication with some Taliban factions and leaders, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.