Reacting to the US-Taliban peace deal and US-Afghanistan joint declaration, India on Saturday reiterated that it supports all opportunities that can bring peace, security, and stability in Afghanistan which will lead to a lasting political settlement through an Afghan-controlled process.
"India's consistent policy is to support all opportunities that can bring peace, security, and stability in Afghanistan; end violence; cut ties with international terrorism; and lead to a lasting political settlement through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan controlled process," the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a statement.
Raveesh Kumar said India acknowledged that the entire political spectrum in Afghanistan, including the Government, the democratic polity, and the civil society, has welcomed the agreements for peace and stability.
"As a contiguous neighbour, India will continue to extend all support to the Government and people of Afghanistan in realising their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future where the interest of all sections of Afghan society are protected," said Kumar.
The United States and the Taliban on Saturday signed a peace deal in Doha after months of negotiations, aimed at ending the 18-year long war in Afghanistan. As per the joint declaration between Afghan and Washington, the United States will withdraw all its forces from Afghanistan within 14 months. The move is "subject to the Taliban's fulfilment of its commitments under the US-Taliban agreement."
US President Donald Trump said the US was "working to finally end America's longest war and bring our troops back home". Under the agreement, the militants also agreed not to allow al-Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in the areas they control.
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a member of the Taliban's office in Qatar, called the peace deal a 'historic day for Afghanistan' and told Afghanistan's TOLO News, "The US guaranteed that 5,000 prisoners would be released before the intra-Afghan talks."
Major powers such as the US, Russia, and Iran had reached out to the Taliban as part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process, that Donald Trump had abruptly declared as "dead" on September 10, 2019.
India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process led by Afghanistan. India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any "ungoverned spaces" where terrorists and their proxies can relocate.
(With inputs from ANI)