India backs a regional process to be convened under the UN to achieve a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan as the situation in the war-torn country continues to be cause for grave concern, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.
Jaishankar made the remarks in Dushanbe while speaking at the ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, a regional initiative of 15 countries, including China, Russia, Iran and Central Asian states, to find a lasting solution to the situation in Afghanistan. This was the first reaction from the Indian side to the UN-led initiative proposed by the Biden administration.
Addressing a gathering that included Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Jaishankar also said durable peace in Afghanistan requires a “genuine ‘double peace’” or “peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan”. He added, “It requires harmonising the interests of all, both within and around that country.”
India’s backing for a regional process on Afghanistan convened by the UN – first suggested by US secretary of state Antony Blinken in a letter sent to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in February – came against the backdrop of worries in New Delhi that the country has been kept out of other processes such as Russia’s “extended troika”.
Jaishankar said: “India welcomes any move towards a genuine political settlement and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan. We appreciate the international recognition of foundational principles that will determine their contours.”
He added, “We support a regional process to be convened under the aegis of the United Nations. UN stewardship would help to take into account all relevant UN resolutions and improve the odds for a lasting outcome.”
News Source: Hindustan Times