From New Delhi to UN, India backs Afghan peace plan, calls for immediate ceasefire

NEW DELHI: From New Delhi where Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar held high-level parleys with EAM S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday, to faraway New York, at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) debate on UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, India has reiterated its commitment and support to Afghanistan peace plan.

India has also called for an immediate ceasefire in view of rising violence levels in Afghanistan.
Addressing the UNSC debate on Afghanistan, India’s permanent representative TS Tirumurti said, “India believes that an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan is the need of the hour. This is not only in the interest of the people of Afghanistan, who have been the victims of unrelenting violence, but a basic prerequisite for the success of the peace process.”

“It goes without saying that talks and violence cannot go hand in hand,” he added.

India asserted that it supports all efforts towards achieving sustainable peace, security and stability in Afghanistan. “Such a process must be transparent, inclusive, Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, fully respecting the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan,” said Tirumurti.

India once again reiterated at UNSC meet on Afghanistan that terrorist safe havens should be dismantled and those providing material and financial support to terrorist entities must be held accountable. “For enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains broken. There needs to be zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It is important to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan is not used by terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country. Those providing material and financial support to terrorist entities must be held accountable, without any double standards,” he said.

In New Delhi, the Afghan Foreign Minister during his meeting with Jaishankar on the peace process, the two sides reviewed the Troika Peace Meeting in Moscow and assessed the final declaration of the meeting as positive for strengthening and advancing the peace process.

India stated its readiness to participate in regional conferences on peace and development in Afghanistan, including the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process in Tajikistan and peace talks in Turkey, and stressed that New Delhi strongly supported the peace process and the achievements of the Afghan people over the last two decades.

Atmar emphasised India’s role in the Afghan peace process and called for its enhanced role in strengthening regional and international consensus for the success of peace talks.

The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan who is touring India held back-to-back talks with Jaishankar and NSA Doval.

During the meeting with NSA, both discussed the peace plan of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for the success of Afghanistan peace negotiations. The Afghan Foreign Minister said the plan would pave the way for a lasting peace based on the will of the Afghan people and strengthen Afghanistan’s role as a bridge for connectivity and cooperation between regional countries and the international community.

Regarding the existence of terrorist groups and networks in the region, Atmar noted that the severance of ties between the Taliban and terrorist outfits was one of the group’s commitments and a basic condition for the success of peace talks that can allow the return of the Taliban to political and civil life.

Stressing the need for continued strategic cooperation between India and Afghanistan, Doval expressed his country’s full support for the peace process, including the consolidation of regional and global consensus.

He added that the unity among Afghans and consensus at regional and international levels were essential factors for achieving sustainable peace. (ANI)