Afghan peace process must be Afghan-controlled, India tells US

While highlighting Pakistan’s ‘destabilising’ role in Afghanistan, India on Friday made it clear to the US that the peace and reconciliation process in the war-torn nation must be ”Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.”
Visiting US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad held talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale during which the two sides discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
According to External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, Khalilzad briefed the Indian side on the efforts being made by Washington aimed at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
The meeting came days after US President Donald Trump ridiculed India’s massive humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, drawing a sharp response from New Delhi. It also assumes significance against the backdrop of President Trump’s recent suggestion that the US would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
Asked if Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan was also discussed, the spokesperson said, ”This is something we have articulated time and again, about the destabilising role they (Pakistan) play.
On Army chief General Bipan Rawat’s statement that there should be talks with the Taliban, the spokesperson said, ”Our position on Afghanistan is very clear and consistent. We support the process which is inclusive and there has been no change in that position.”

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