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International Relations

Taliban Delegation in Pakistan

  • 29 Aug 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, a Taliban delegation visited Pakistan to discuss the way forward in the Afghan peace process.

  • The Taliban delegation was led by their political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

Key Points

  • Pakistan Stand:
    • It had played a facilitating role on the Afghan issue, which led to a peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban.
    • The next step it seeks is intra-Afghan peace dialogue, to which Afghanistan has also agreed.
    • It has reiterated its commitment to further deepen the ties with Afghanistan and enhance cooperation in all fields.
  • Issues Involved:
    • The Taliban visited Pakistan in the backdrop of stalled intra-Afghan peace dialogue over the issue of prisoners release.
    • The Taliban also want to speed up the intra-Afghan peace dialogue.
    • Earlier, to resolve the issue the Afghanistan government had convened Loya Jirga (grand assembly), which also approved the release of prisoners and further the peace process.
  • Background:
    • The USA signed a deal with the Taliban that paved the way towards a full withdrawal of USA troops from Afghanistan and also represent a step towards ending the 18-year-war in Afghanistan.
    • The peace deal was expected to kick-off two processes- a phased withdrawal of US troops and an ‘intra-Afghan’ dialogue.
    • The deal is a fundamental step to deliver a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and the future political roadmap for the Afghanistan peace process.
  • India’s Interests in Afghanistan:
    • India has a major stake in the stability of Afghanistan. India has invested considerable resources in Afghanistan's development. E.g. the Afghan Parliament, the Zaranj-Delaram Highway, Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam) among others.
    • India favours the continuation of the current Afghanistan government in power, which it considers a strategic asset vis-à-vis Pakistan.
      • An increased political and military role for the Taliban and the expansion of its territorial control should be of great concern to India since the Taliban is widely believed to be a protégé of Pakistan.
    • Afghanistan is the gateway to Central Asia.
    • Withdrawal of US troops could result in the breeding of the fertile ground for various anti-India terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba or Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Way Forward

  • India should support any genuine peace process in Afghanistan. However, the peace process in Afghanistan appears to be one-sided and pushed by the U.S.A. and Pakistan.
  • India should not recognise or publicly engage the Taliban until it recognises the Afghanistan government.

Source: TH

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