Holding dialogue on a war-torn Afghanistan, Moscow is hosting a meeting on November 9 which will have Afghan Taliban representatives in attendance. As a consequence of the Taliban presence, the inclusion of India in the Russia-held meeting has kindled controversies.
Responding to this trigger the Ministry of External Affairs has issued a statement, stating that their participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level.
Two former top diplomats will be in attendance of the meeting, to which former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir has drawn a Hurriyat link to the scene, frowning upon the government’s attendance.
The decision for India’s presence was induced after a broad consultation with the Ashraf Ghani’s government, who too will be in the participation of this bilateral or multilateral talks. There is no change of policy as far as India’s stand is concerned towards the Afghan-driven peace council.
Having a substantial stake-hold in South Asia, the presence of India is vital as the Russian Ministry has sent an invitation to 12 other countries including Pakistan, Iran, China, the United States, and five former Soviet republics in Central Asia, apart from India
To this account, in a tweet, Abdullah has questioned the Modi government that if talks can be initiated with the Taliban, why can’t talks be conducted with the Hurriyat in the Valley.
Giving inputs to the subject, Kavinder Gupta former Deputy CM of Jammu and Kashmir dismissed Abdullah’s claims saying, “Dialogues have been conducted with Hurriyat in the past, but as far as Hurriyat’s behaviour in Kashmir is concerned they need to change that. Some criteria need to be set, they need to abide by the Constitution while holding talks. India has extended for talks, even in Atal Bihari Vajpayee 's government talks have been extended. Regardless of what Abdullah is alleging, India has never denied talks with Hurriyat.”
He added, “As long as the talks with Taliban is concerned we hope that the issue should be uprooted. Abdullah should quit talking like a representative of Pakistan.”
The Moscow talks are an effort by the international community to ratchet-up the efforts to terminate the conflict since US-invasion in 2001
In a statement posted on social media, the Taliban said it would dispatch "high-ranking" representatives from its political office in Qatar.
"This conference is not about negotiating with any particular side, rather it is a conference about holding comprehensive discussions on finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary and ending the American occupation," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.
The first round of consultations took place in mid-April last year and was attended by deputy foreign ministers and special representatives of 11 countries interested in reaching a peace settlement in Afghanistan. The United States declined the invitation to attend, citing a lack of an Afghanistan strategy at the time.