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As Afghan Peace Process Gains Momentum, MEA Says India Being Briefed On All Relevant Matters

File photo of MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. (Twitter/@MEAIndia)

File photo of MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. (Twitter/@MEAIndia)

On Friday, Afghanistan's capital Kabul is set to hold a grand gathering called 'Loya Jirga' to decide the fate of hundreds of prisoners, mostly members of the Taliban, as it was a key demand of the terror outfit to join peace talks.

As the Afghan peace process gains momentum, India on Thursday said it is being apprised about all relevant matters and that the Indian envoy in Afghanistan is in touch with the leadership of that country. On Friday, Afghanistan's capital Kabul is set to hold a grand gathering called "Loya Jirga" to decide the fate of hundreds of prisoners, mostly members of the Taliban, as it was a key demand of the terror outfit to join peace talks.

"Loya Jirga is a highly respected traditional consultative body of Afghanistan and their meet is an issue internal to Afghanistan," external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at an online media briefing. He was asked about India's views on the scheduled gathering of the traditional body comprising Afghan elders, community leaders and politicians.

"Our policy is very consistent in supporting the government of Afghanistan," Srivastava said, adding the Indian envoy in Kabul has been in touch with the leadership of the country. "He is being briefed on all relevant matters. We have also been briefed by other interlocutors who are part of the process," he said.

India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. It has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled. India has been keenly following the evolving political situation after the US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February. The deal provided for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, effectively drawing curtains to Washington's 18-year war in the country.

The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001. India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any "ungoverned spaces" where terrorists and their proxies can relocate.

India has been calling upon all sections of the political spectrum in Afghanistan to work together to meet the aspirations of all people in that country including those from the minority community for a prosperous and safe future.

first published:August 06, 2020, 23:30 IST