Afghan NSA Hamdullah Mohib briefs India on efforts aimed at ending 18-year war
Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib on Friday briefed his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on the efforts aimed at ending the 18-year war in his country, especially US-backed moves to hold talks with the Taliban.
The US special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is working closely with Pakistan to hold talks with the Taliban, who have persistently refused to engage with the Kabul government. India has misgivings about this, and is keeping a close eye on what people familiar with the matter have described as “Pakistan’s activism”.
Mohib, who is on a three-day visit, and Doval had a “detailed exchange of views” on developments in Afghanistan, the external affairs ministry said in a statement. Mohib briefed Indian officials about the security situation, recent parliamentary elections, scheduled presidential polls, and the Afghan government’s efforts at peace.
Doval made it clear India “supports all efforts for peace and reconciliation that are Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled”, the statement said.
The Afghan side conveyed its concerns about the undue haste shown by Khalilzad and his “unrealistic agenda” in pushing through efforts to engage the Taliban, people familiar with developments said.
The Afghan side also made it clear there could be no negotiations on sustainable peace without involving the government in Kabul, they said.
Kabul is keen on New Delhi playing a greater role in regulating developments in the region against the backdrop of a rapidly changing regional and world order, the people said.
Mohib met Doval two days after US President Donald Trump belittled India’s role in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and called on New Delhi to do more in fighting the Taliban. India responded, saying it is committed to long-term developmental aid, but would not commit any troops.
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