The government of Afghanistan may seek India’s military assistance, for training and technical support, if talks with the Taliban fail amid a withdrawal of US troops.
According to an exclusive report by NDTV, representatives of the Taliban and the Afghanistan government have been holding talks amid the insurgents’ increasing control over the country even as the US looks to wind up its almost two-decade war there by the end of August.
However, the peace talks supposedly taking place in Doha have largely fizzled out, and the Taliban now appear set on a complete military victory, AFP reported on Tuesday.
“Should we not get to a stage in the peace process with the Taliban, then maybe a time (will come) where we would be seeking India’s military assistance, more military assistance in the years ahead," Farid Mamundzay, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, told NDTV.
“We are not seeking India’s assistance with sending troops to Afghanistan. Their footprint in Afghanistan to fight our war would not be needed at this stage," he clarified.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Haneef Atmar and discussed the situation in the war-torn country. Jaishankar arrived in the Tajik capital on Tuesday for a two-day visit to attend the meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Foreign Ministers and the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan.
“Began my Dushanbe visit by meeting with Afghan FM @MHanafghaneefAtmar. Appreciate his update on recent developments. Looking forward to the meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan tomorrow," Jaishankar tweeted. The SCO contact group meeting on Afghanistan assumes significance as it comes amidst growing global concerns over Taliban fighters rapidly seizing control of a large number of areas in Afghanistan.
India has evacuated around 50 diplomats and security personnel from its consulate in Kandahar in a military aircraft in the wake of intense fighting between Afghan forces and Taliban militants. Afghanistan has witnessed a series of terror attacks in the last few weeks as the US looked to complete the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan by August-end, ending a nearly two-decade of its military presence in the war-ravaged country.
India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It has already invested nearly USD 3 billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the country. India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process, which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.