Tashkent echoes India’s stand on Afghan peace process


Tashkent echoes India’s stand on Afghan peace processTASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN: A two-day mega international meet that began on Monday at this historic city on Tuesday adopted a declaration calling for an ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ peace process, reflecting India’s long-held position that any political solution should not be imposed through proxies.

“…We recognise that a political settlement that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, supported by close regional counterterrorism and counter-narcotics cooperation, and regional economic cooperation and connectivity are key to the peace and prosperity of Afghanistan and the entire region,” read the Declaration issued at the end of the two-day meet. This echoes the remarks of MoS External Affairs M J Akbar at the conference.

The declaration also supported Afghan National Unity Government’s offer to launch direct talks with Taliban but without any pre-condition echoing Delhi’s long-held view on dialogue with Taliban. Uzbekistan, the co-organiser of the meet has offered to host peace negotiations between the Ashraf Ghani administration and the Taliban.

The Tashkent Declaration further called “on all countries to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and non-interference in its internal affairs in order to achieve its security, stability and prosperity”. The Declaration also condemned terror attacks in Afghanistan in all its forms and manifestations. Earlier, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said regional countries need to support Afghanistan’s peace efforts as terrorists know no geographical boundaries.

Uzbekistan president Shavkat Mirziyoyev said the fight against terrorism was a common challenge for the region.

Afghanistan Victim of Ideological Extremism: MJ Akbar
Tashkent, Uzbekistan:India, which is a victim of relentless cross-border terror, asserted on Tuesday that Afghanistan is a "victim of ideological extremism and brutal terrorism, often sponsored from beyond their borders, for reasons that they do not always understand, by elements trapped in regressive doctrine and cynical interests".
“ We in India are profoundly troubled by the continuing suffering of our Afghan brethren,”,” said MoS External Affairs MJ Akbar while addressing Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan.

(Writer is in Tashkent at the invite of the Uzbek government)