India, Afghanistan criticise Pakistan for backing Taliban, meddling in Afghan affairs

By Hindustan times

Pakistan’s role in backing the Taliban and meddling in Afghanistan was criticised on Friday by external affairs minister S Jaishankar and Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who said democratic and constitutional structures created in the war-torn country must be preserved.

Without naming Pakistan, both Jaishankar and Mohib referred to the negative role of a “neighbour” of Afghanistan while participating in a virtual discussion at the Raisina Dialogue. However, their remarks left no one in doubt as to which country they were talking about.

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, who also participated in the discussion, was more circumspect but urged the Taliban to join negotiations aimed at ensuring a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Jaishankar noted that thousands of foreign fighters are still in Afghanistan and said all stakeholders should buy into a fair and broad-based process aimed at ensuring lasting peace in Afghanistan. The resolution in Afghanistan must be supported by all its neighbours and cannot be based solely on “the wishes of the most forceful set of people in that society”, he said.

“The neighbours of Afghanistan unfortunately have very often played a very negative role…The neighbours also need to lay off Afghanistan and let the Afghan people do what is in their best interest,” Jaishankar said.

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