India obliquely blames Pak for bid to destabilise Afghanistan

| | New Delhi

India has indirectly blamed Pakistan for trying to destablise Afghanistan through terrorism and stressed on the need to strengthen security mechanism in the war-torn country. Putting forth its views during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Contact Group meeting on Afghanistan, held in Moscow, on October 11, India talked about greater connectivity and regional integration for Afghanistan.

 "India shared its perspectives on the situation in Afghanistan, including security challenges posed by terrorism imposed from beyond its borders, the need to strengthen Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, need for an Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled national peace and reconciliation in an environment free of terror and violence, continued assistance for socio-economic development based on priorities of the people of Afghanistan, and ensuring greater connectivity and regional integration for Afghanistan," Ministry of External Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.

India has a divergent view from China and Russia on engaging Taliban as part of the peace process. Raveesh said New Delhi has always maintained that there is no good or bad Taliban while reiterating the country's position that "red lines" should be adhered.

He added that India conveyed its readiness to work closely with the SCO member States in efforts to bring peace, prosperity and stability in Afghanistan. Secretary (West), Ruchi Ghanashyam led the Indian delegation to the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group Meeting held in Moscow on October 11. This was the first meeting of the Group following the expansion of SCO in June 2017 with India becoming its full member.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, responding to Pakistan Prime Minister's recent statement on India not needed in Afghanistan, MEA said that India doesn't agree with his assessment.

"We don't foresee any political or military role for India in Afghanistan. I think it will just complicate the situation and it will not resolve anything. So if they want to do economic assistance, that's their prerogative, but we don't accept or see any role politically or militarily for India in Afghanistan," Pak PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said in New York last month.

Responding to his remarks, Raveesh said: "India has a very clear role in Afghanistan. There are more than 100 development projects going on in the country out of which there are six big ones. India is also providing economic assistance to Afghanistan apart from now training its police. We are looking at peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan."



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