India stresses on importance of ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned & Afghan-controlled’ peace process

PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

India on Monday underlined the importance of an inclusive, “Afghan-led, Afghan owned and Afghan-controlled” reconciliation process to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. India made the assertion during an online meeting of regional partners of Afghanistan.

A senior official of the Ministry of External Affairs represented India at the meeting which was chaired by Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. Twenty countries and international organisations including the United Nations participated in the deliberations.

In his remarks, Ghani thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for extending to Afghanistan assistance to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and for hosting SAARC leaders’ meeting for coordinated efforts in the region, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

“India, one of the largest development partners of Afghanistan, with commitment of more than USD 3 billion, reiterated the importance of an inclusive, Afghan led, Afghan owned, Afghan controlled peace and reconciliation process,” it said.

“India highlighted the fact that in order to achieve durable peace in Afghanistan, putting an end to terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens is an essential pre-requisite,” it said. The MEA said India expressed support for a constitutional order in Afghanistan, which would protect the interest of all sections of Afghan society, including women, children and minorities.

Issues concerning Afghan peace and reconciliation process and support of the regional partners to an independent, unified, democratic and sovereign Afghanistan were discussed in the meeting. India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any “ungoverned spaces” where terrorists and their proxies can relocate. It has been calling upon all sections of the political spectrum in Afghanistan to work together to meet the aspirations of all people in that country including those from the minority community for a prosperous and safe future.