Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale

We support all peace initiatives: India on Afghan peace deal

ANI | Updated: Sep 03, 2019 00:01 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 2 (ANI): Amid reports that a peace agreement between the US and the Taliban has been reached, India on Monday said it supports all peace initiatives which are aimed at providing a system with constitutional legitimacy, political mandate and ensures stability in the region.

"We support all peace initiatives. We have been a part of all of them, if not initially but in later stages, we have been supportive of them. Our issue has been what would have been a post-settlement situation in this regard. Our position is very clear. We prefer a system which has constitutional legitimacy which has a political mandate, which will ensure stability and which will not leave ungoverned space for the terrorists and for the proxies to take advantage of," said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale at a press briefing. 

India's remarks come hours after the United States special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad shared "key details" of the US-Taliban draft agreement with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The agreement has been reached after the ninth round of US-Taliban talks which were concluded over the weekend.

When asked about Russia and India's engagement on peace in the war-torn nation, Gokhale said New Delhi and Moscow share a common ground on the Afghan peace process

"As far as India and Russia are concerned, we have common ground in Afghanistan. We both believe that at the end of the process whatever is the outcome of the discussion between Taliban and US we want to see a stable political situation where there is political order and guarantee of peace agreement," he said.

India has been supporting an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled national peace and reconciliation process in the war-torn country.

Earlier, India has said that it is closely following the recent developments pertaining to the ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan and has been in constant touch will all major stakeholders in the matter.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on August 6 had met Khalilzad on the recent developments pertaining to the ongoing peace efforts in Kabul.

According to the United Nations, 3,804 civilians - including more than 900 children - were killed and 7,000 wounded in 2018, the deadliest year for non-combatants in the conflict.

When asked whether India would raise the issue of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's extradition or deportation with Malaysia, Gokhale said: "As of now we're still waiting for confirmation on the bilateral, if there's a meeting with Malaysia, we'll certainly brief the media."

On possible meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Ghokale said no meeting has been scheduled as of now, but India is ready to work with any third country in Russia's far east.

"There is no update in the matter as there is no scheduled meeting. We are ready to work with any third country in Russia far east," said Ghokale (ANI)