KABUL (Pajhwok): India on Friday said it is concerned about peace and security in Afghanistan and the region, according to a statement.
“We support all peace initiatives and have been engaged with several stakeholders including regional countries.
As you are aware, EAM participated in the inaugural ceremony of the intra Afghan talks held in Doha last year,” India External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
“Our relations with Afghanistan are historical and multi-faceted. We have been engaging with Afghans across ethnicities. As a friendly neighbour, we are concerned about peace and security in Afghanistan and the region.”
“A senior official delegation attended the talks in Doha. In the recent past, we have had visits by multiple Afghan leaders to India and we have also had official visits to Kabul.”
“We are in touch with various stakeholders, as I said, in pursuance of our long term commitment towards development and reconstruction of Afghanistan.”
Earlier, Hindustan Times reported that India opened channels with Afghan Taliban factions and leaders. The Indian outreach, according to the report, is largely led by security officials and limited to Taliban factions and leaders that are perceived as being “nationalist” or outside the sphere of influence of Pakistan and Iran.
Hindustan Times reads India has for the first time opened channels of communication with Afghan Taliban factions and leaders, including Mullah Baradar, against the backdrop of the rapid drawdown of US forces from Afghanistan, people with knowledge of the development have said.
The move marks a significant shift in New Delhi’s long-term policy of not engaging with the Afghan Taliban in any way and comes at a time when key world powers are veering around to the position that the Taliban will play some part in any future dispensation in Kabul. The outreach has been underway for some months, though it continues to be exploratory in nature
Another source told New York Times regarding the Hindustan Times report: “A huge shift is imminent; some believe that keeping the relationship with the Taliban will be better.”