AT News Report
KABUL: The German Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Markus Potzel, has said his country wants India to play a crucial role in the ongoing Afghan peace process.
Potzel is in official visit to India, where he told journalists that “we would like to see India play a bigger role in Afghanistan,” Potzel was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
The German dignitary is poised to meet senior Indian officials. Germany has so far played a key role in facilitating the intra-Afghan dialogue that happened in Doha on July 7-8.
Announcing his visit, the India Ministry of External Affair’s spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar said, “Tomorrow, we will exchange views with the Special Representative from Germany who is responsible for intra-Afghan dialogue.”
Talking to reporters, Potzel said he hadn’t come to give “advice” to Indians, but to “brief” the Indian government on the ongoing developments.
“We would hope India would be part of the coming rounds of conversations on Afghanistan.”
Currently, the peace process is being run by the US and supported by Russia, Pakistan, and China. The latest round of talks happened in China over the last weekend where India was left out.
Questioned about India’s approach to the developments in Afghanistan, the MEA spokesperson said, “US side briefs us on their talks from time to time. We are also in regular consultations with other active players like all political forces in Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China on this issue.”
Reiterating its stand on peace in Afghanistan, MEA said, “We have supported a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan controlled. This has been communicated to all our partners and we are quite confident that our points of view will be part of any peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.”
The US-Taliban negotiations’ seventh round ended on July 9 with a roadmap for a potential peace in Afghanistan. On the sidelines of those talks, there was also an all-Afghan conference, co-hosted and sponsored by Qatar and Germany, which lasted for two days.
The conference concluded with a joint resolution asking for reduction in violence and civilian casualties. Regardless, security across the country has deteriorated and conflicts between the Taliban and Afghan security forces are ongoing without any reduction.
Meanwhile, the Afghan spy network on Friday claimed that the Taliban complex coordinated attack on southern Kandahar’s provincial police headquarters that took the lives of 12 people was conspired in Pakistan.
This comes as Islamabad has been consistently accused by Kabul of harboring and supporting terrorists and the Taliban who carry out subversive activities in the country. However, the ongoing peace talks has taken a positive turn with the international community commending Pakistan for its key role in advancing the process.
The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is also scheduled to meet with US President Donald Trump on Monday – while Afghan peace is said to dominate the talks between the leaders.