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India backs all-inclusive Afghan peace talks

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: As a Taliban delegation led by Abdul Ghani Baradar is currently in Islamabad, where according to sources, he held meeting with US special envoy for Afghanistan, the Indian government has stated that there is a need for involvement of all stakeholders, including the Afghan government, in the Afghan peace process.

Addressing a weekly briefing, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar, said India is “closely monitoring” the situation and that “all sections of the Afghan government, including a legitimately-elected Afghan government, should be part of the Afghan peace process.”

He said that “all processes should respect the constitutional legacy and political mandate” in Afghanistan.

The spokesman continued: A peace settlement “should not leave any ungoverned spaces where terrorists and their proxies can operate and where they can create bases to target India,” he said, referring to ongoing peace efforts and a possible agreement that would be the outcome of such efforts.

“It should have the full consent of the Afghan people and government of Afghanistan,” he added.

“India has consistently supported an early election and is very happy the election took place despite challenging circumstances. We will continue to engage with legitimate government which will assume power,” he added.

This comes as a delegation of the Taliban visited Islamabad last week, meeting with Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

According to Reuters, the group also met with the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad.

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