As the Taliban sat down in Doha of Qatar for its first real and direct engagement with the Afghan government for peace, India participated in the inaugural session of the negotiations with foreign minister S Jaishankar underscoring the need for addressing the issue of violence in the war-torn country and its neighbourhood.
Without naming Pakistan, or any Pakistan based terror group with links to the Afghan Taliban, Jaishankar said that India’s expectation was that the soil of Afghanistan is never used for anti-India activities.
In his virtual address, he said the interests of minorities, women and vulnerable sections of society must be preserved and the issue of violence across the country and its neighbourhood had to be effectively addressed.
India remains concerned about the Taliban’s links with Pakistan’s ISI and efforts by the latter to use the Haqqani network to target India’s interests in the country, although Pakistan is said to no longer enjoy the kind of influence over the Taliban as in the past.
As Jaishankar highlighted in his speech, India has been a major development partner of Afghanistan with over 400 completed projects in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan.
Islamabad, which facilitated the US-Taliban peace agreement earlier, patted itself on the back Saturday with its foreign minister S M Qureshi.
India has been wary of the links with Taliban of terror groups like JeM and LeT.
A UN report had said earlier this year that LeT and JeM fighters were ” co-located” with Taliban in Afghanistan.