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There Will Be No Reduction in India's Role Under Pak Pressure: Af Envoy

There Will Be No Reduction in India's Role Under Pak Pressure: Af Envoy

New Delhi:  Afghanistan has expressed disappointment over Pakistan's attitude  to its  latest initiative for bringing an end to conflict  through offer of unconditional peace talks with Taliban.

It has also asserted that there will be no reduction of  India's engagement with the country under pressure of Islamabad. So far there had been no response from Pakistan to act on the important points agreed to during their Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's recent visit to Kabul, Ambassador Shaida Mohammad Abdali  said here, adding that  one of these points was making the Taliban agree to engage in negotiations with the Afghanistan government                  

''We are still awaiting a positive step forward from Pakistan even as border violations were continuing,'' Mr Abdali said during an interaction with members of the  Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents here yesterday. It may be pointed out that Kabul and Washington have been putting pressure on Islamabad to deny safe havens to insurgents blamed for attack in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Ambassador said his country has now to see how far Pakistan goes to push Taliban towards peace talks. In this connection, his government had adopted a two-pronged approach- one to engage at  government to government level with Pakistan,  and the other to deal with the Taliban as a group, the Ambassador said.

So far,  the Taliban had not got back to our government over the unconditional peace talks offer, which means they were pondering over it, he said. The Afghan envoy also accused the Taliban of  deceiving and creating confusion among his country's friends  by projecting a  Taliban vs Daesh  tussle in his country. ''The fact was that this Daesh had not come from Iraq or  Syria but was part of  the Pakistani Taliban, consisting of local people across the Duran Line, '' he said.

The Afghan envoy stressed there was a consistent effort to prolong war in Afghanistan by creating distrust between regional and international partners of the country. He also said the Afghan people would never like to see the Taliban back, as these groups were imposed from without.

Replying to a question, Mr Abdali said his country  would not come under pressure of Pakistan to reduce India's role in his country. ''For Afghanistan ties with India are very important and this partnership is very special.'' He said besides economic engagement, India  was also playing a very substantive role in strengthening his country's defence forces.

India was obtaining four fighter helicopters for Afghanistan through Belarus as an interim help. This help was urgent to bolster  the air force for the coming summer fighting season. This was an interim arrangement before  the four -year US plan(1918-22) for strengthening Afghan defence is completed, he said. ''Besides, our defence minister attended the Chennai Defence expo where he has seen new products, and we will soon be giving our new list ,'' he said .

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