However, India has been engaging Russia on the Afghanistan issue and putting forth its views bilaterally to its time-tested friend.
New Delhi: India on Thursday dismissed Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s reported statement that India has “zero role” in Afghanistan, saying it does not agree with it. Ironically, India, along with Pakistan, have just participated in the meeting of regional grouping Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO’s) “Contact Group” on Afghanistan that took place in the Russian capital Moscow. Putting forth its views at the meeting, New Delhi referred to terrorism emanating from across Afghanistan’s borders — a veiled reference to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism — and also supported strengthening of Afghan security forces besides emphasising that the Afghan peace and reconciliation process has to be Afghan-led, owned and controlled.
Interestingly, Russia has shown more of an inclination in recent times to ally with the Chinese and Pakistani stand on Afghanistan even as India, the United States and the Afghan Government itself seem to be on the same page on the issue. However, India has been engaging Russia on the Afghanistan issue and putting forth its views bilaterally to its time-tested friend.
The MEA spokesperson made it clear on Thursday that India does not believe in the concept of a good Taliban or bad Taliban, again a veiled reference to Islamabad’s strategy of sponsoring terror groups.
India and Afghanistan had recently agreed on an “ambitious and forward looking next generation New Development Partnership” that will see “116 High Impact Community Development Projects to be implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan”. They agreed “to implement the following new projects under grant-in aid assistance from India” which are “Shahtoot dam and drinking water project for Kabul that would also facilitate irrigation; low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugees in Nangarhar Province to promote resettlement; road connectivity to Band-e-Amir in Bamyan Province that would promote tourism to the National Park and economic development; water supply network for Charikar city in Parwan Province; establishment of a Gypsum board manufacturing plant in Kabul to promote value added industry; and construction of a polyclinic in Mazar-e-Sharif”.