Afghanistan’s top negotiator Abdullah Abdullah met Indian Ambassador to Kabul Rudrendra Tandon on Monday and discussed the peace process, negotiations in Doha and India’s role in ensuring stability in the country. The meeting comes day after Abdullah, the chairman of the powerful High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), visited New Delhi where he met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday and discussed the overall situation in Afghanistan amid a rise in violence there in the wake of quick withdrawal of the US troops.
“Today I met the Indian Ambassador to Kabul HE Rudrendra Tandon @IndianEmbKabul. We discussed the peace process, talks in Doha, the importance of regional censuses in support of peace & the role of India," Abdullah said in a tweet. He thanked India for supporting a comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.
India has voiced concern at the spiralling violence in Afghanistan and called for immediate reduction in bloodshed in the war-torn nation. With the situation deteriorating in Afghanistan in the last few weeks, India has been in touch with leading international players as well as the Afghan government on the overall developments in that country.
“Always good to meet Chairman HCNR @DrabdullahCE. Appreciate his sentiments and support for our relationship.Value his insights on the region," Jaishankar tweeted after his meeting with Abdullah on Friday. Under a deal with the Taliban, the US and its NATO allies agreed to withdraw all troops in return for a commitment by the militants that they would prevent extremist groups from operating in areas they control. US President Joe Biden has announced that American troops will be out of the country by August 31.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan by brute force from 1996 to 2001 when the US invasion toppled their government. India, a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan, has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.
The US and the Taliban signed the landmark deal in Doha on February 29, 2020 after multiple rounds of negotiations to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home from America’s longest war. India has been keenly following the evolving political situation after the US signed the peace deal with the Taliban. India has said it was committed to steadfastly supporting Afghanistan during its transition. Its development partnership of USD 3 billion, including more than 550 Community Development Projects covering all 34 provinces, is aimed at making Afghanistan a self-sustaining nation.