New Delhi: Afghanistan chief peace envoy Abdullah Abdullah lauded India’s civil and military support for peaceful settlement of the Afghan peace process and expressed hopes for further deepening the Kabul’s interactions with New Delhi.
Abdullah, chief of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, during an interview with The Associated Press in New Delhi, said that he hoped that India would play an important role in the peace process by encouraging the voices of tolerance and coexistence as the issue involves the international community.
Abdullah said that India espoused for a peaceful Afghanistan which did not harbour terrorist groups, adding that this was in line with the aspirations of Afghanistan’s people and their sacrifices for peace.
Abdullah visited New Delhi at a crucial time for India, which is looking to protect its strategic interests in Afghanistan amidst Pakistan’s influence in the region and an expected withdrawal of US Troops from Afghanistan.
According to The Associated Press, this is Abdullah’s first visit to India after the formation of the new government in Kabul following last year’s election.
Abdullah, who oversees the peace process from the government side, visited India after a week he visited Pakistan while Afghanistan’s government negotiators are meeting with Taliban representatives in Qatar to devise a future strategy for a post-war Afghanistan.
Encouraged by the talks he had with the Indian leadership that centred around peace and stability in the region, Abdullah said that the New Delhi assured him of its support for a settlement acceptable to Afghan people.
Abdullah has so far met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the army chief Bipin Rawat and other high-ranking officials since his arrival to India on Tuesday.
India’s foreign ministry on Thursday issued a statement and said that Abdullah called for India’s commitment towards sustainable peace and prosperity in Afghanistan while Modi welcomed the efforts towards a permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan.
According to reports, India has been providing Afghan security forces with operational training and military equipment over the years, even though it has had no troops on the ground. According to The Associated Press, India is the region’s largest provider of development aid to Afghanistan.