In an indirect reference, India asked the US that the Afghan peace process should not be led by Pakistan and should only be driven by Afghanistan. The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in New Delhi where they discussed the Afghan peace process.
In this meeting, Indian officials emphasized that the peace and reconciliation process in the Afghanistan “must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled”. Indian media quoted Raveesh Kumar, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman, as saying that Khalilzad briefed the Indian side on the efforts being made by Washington aimed at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
“Our position on Afghanistan is very clear and consistent. We support the process which is inclusive and there has been no change in that position,” Kumar said as quoted by Indian media reports.
“We share perspectives on peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Mr Khalilzad briefed External Affairs Minister and Foreign Secretary on their aspect as to how the US is trying to achieve peace and reconciliation in the country,” he said.
This comes as the US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is on a multi-nation trip on Afghan peace starting from January 8 – 21. The US Department of State has said that Khalilzad will visit India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan during this trip.
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