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India’s Modi reiterates support for intra-Afghan talks

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: During his talks with the visiting head of Afghanistan’s Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated India’s support to the Afghan government’s efforts to initiate intra-Afghan talks.
HCNR head Dr. Abdullah, who is on a five-day visit to India, met with the Indian prime minister on Thursday. India’s national security advisor Ajit Doval also hosted a dinner for Dr. Abdullah on Wednesday night.
According to a read-out issued by Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian prime minister “reiterated India’s commitment towards sustainable peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and welcomed efforts towards a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan”.
On September 12, the Afghan government and the Taliban officially began the intra-Afghan talks in Qatar’s capital city, Doha. However, the talks are currently mired in negotiations over the framework, even as violence and bomb blasts continue in Afghanistan.
The Afghan government has been asking for an immediate ceasefire as the top priority for the talks, but the Taliban is yet to agree on this proposal.
Speaking at a think-tank later on Thursday, Dr. Abdullah said that the message from India during the meeting with Modi was that India wanted a peaceful, democratic Afghanistan, which doesn’t harbor any terrorist groups.
Addressing an event at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in Delhi, Dr. Abdullah noted that the gains of the years of democracy will not be lost and Afghanistan will continue to strive for a just and inclusive system ensuring freedoms and rights for all Afghans, including women and minorities.
In New Delhi, Dr. Abdullah responded that it “takes a little bit of time to digest it (US President’s tweet) and find out the extent that it refers to the numbers, timing…” He also appended that there was “no doubt that in November, part of the withdrawal will be completed”.
He added there is a thinking among the Taliban that they may be able to assert their dominance once the US withdraws from Afghanistan. “They may be able to take advantage of situation temporarily, but will not be able to impose their rule on the people of Afghanistan. That’s the reality. There is one lesson in our recent history – that one side cannot impose their own will on the nation by force or violence.”

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