Qatar invites India to attend signing of US-Taliban peace deal

The Asian Age.  | Sridhar Kumaraswami

India, All India

Don justifies Afghan withdrawal, says US is ‘not a police force’.

U.S. president Donald Trump (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: India has received an invitation from Qatar to attend the historic signing of a peace deal between the United States and the Afghan Taliban on Saturday in Doha (Qatar), sources said on Tuesday, even as US President Donald Trump said that “India (too) would like to see it happen”. The US President said he had discussed the situation in Afghanistan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the capital during talks on Tuesday.

Indian government sources confirmed that New Delhi had received the invite from Qatar. New Delhi is considering whether to send an “official” delegation or else a “non-official” delegation amid indications that the choice may be in favour of sending an “official” delegation.

Meanwhile, justifying the exercise to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, President Trump told reporters that the US is “not a police force” and they (Afghans) “have to police it themselves”. He said the US wanted to “bring our young people back home”, claiming, the US “can win it (conflict in Afghanistan) easily” but that “I don’t want to kill millions of people”.

Meanwhile, at a separate briefing, India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the situation in Afghanistan had been discussed between President Trump and PM Modi and that both sides “took note” of the developments including the issue of an (US-Taliban) agreement there. He said India believed there should be “cessation of violence” and also referred to the US stand that there should be “no support for Islamic radical terrorism”. He said India backed a peace-process that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.

It may be recalled that New Delhi has been strongly backing the Afghan Government led by President Ashraf Ghani. India has also earned considerable goodwill in Afghanistan due to several development projects completed there. The Afghan Taliban, on the other hand, is considered to be an organisation that survives on Pakistani cross-border support.