India, a close defence and development partner of Afghanistan’s government, has been calling for an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” peace process in the insurgency-ravaged nation. Delhi has also called for “constitutional continuity” and for the “gains” of the last 20 years to be preserved in the country.
India on Thursday hit out at the Taliban*, while referring to the recently concluded discussions between the group’s political leadership and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin.
“I would like to reiterate that India, and the world, wishes to see an independent, sovereign, democratic and stable Afghanistan, at peace with itself and neighbours”. Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a weekly briefing, when asked to comment on the discussions.
A nine-member Taliban delegation, led by head of the political committee Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, met the Chinese foreign minister and Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao on 28 July.
During the discussions, Wang recognised the Taliban as an “important military and political force” in Afghanistan, as per an official readout by Beijing. Wang further pointed out during his meeting with the Taliban that he expected the Islamist insurgent group to play a significant role in Afghanistan’s peace process.
“As a military and political force to be reckoned with in Afghanistan, the Afghan Taliban has in recent years maintained dialogue and contact with the Afghan…