‘Legitimacy aspect’ of who should rule Afghanistan shouldn’t be ignored: Jaishankar

Expressing concern over the spiralling violence in Afghanistan, India Friday said the “legitimacy aspect” of who should rule the war-torn country should not be ignored and called for an immediate reduction in the conflict.

“Of course we are concerned about the direction of events in Afghanistan,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Moscow at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. “The point right now we stress is that we must see a reduction in violence. Violence cannot be the solution for the situation in Afghanistan.”

His remarks came in the midst of Taliban militants seizing dozens of districts over the course of recent weeks. They are now thought to control about a third of the country, ahead of the withdrawal of US and Western troops from Afghanistan by September 11.

As part of the deal with the Taliban, the US and its NATO allies have agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the militants that they would prevent extremist groups from operating in areas they control.

“At the end of the day, who governs Afghanistan has a legitimacy aspect of it. I think that is something which cannot and should not be ignored,” said Jaishankar, who is in Russia on a three-day visit.

“For more than 30 years now, there have been international conferences, there have been groups, there have been formats to discuss how to stabilise and bring about peace in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that…

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