Defence

New Delhi’s role in Afghanistan after US exit — what India, Afghan NSAs plan to discuss

By The Print

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib are expected to discuss the “next steps” in the stalled intra-Afghan dialogue, ThePrint has learnt.

The move comes ahead of the visit of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and the chairman of the country’s High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah to the US Friday.

Doval and Mohib are likely to meet on the sidelines of the two-day meeting for all NSAs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe, top sources told ThePrint. The meeting began Wednesday.

Both NSAs are expected to discuss the role that India is “planning” to play in Afghanistan after the departure of the US troops by 11 September, amid a significant spike in Taliban’s offensive in the last few months that has claimed key cities in northern Afghanistan.

According to the highly-placed sources, both NSAs are also expected to discuss how India will be engaging with the Taliban leaders while it remains firm on its stance of supporting an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process.

The meeting between the two NSAs comes at a time when India is believed to have begun direct talks with the Taliban leaders as their chances of coming into power in Afghanistan become imminent.

The Taliban meeting
According to Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, Qatar’s special envoy for counter-terrorism and conflict resolution, key Indian officials are believed to have undertaken a visit to the Qatari capital of Doha.

“I understand that there has been a quiet visit by Indian officials… to speak with the Talibans.

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