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  • The Biden administration has begun an overhaul of America's Afghanistan strategy and it finally wants India at the table.

  • In a leaked letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined a series of steps to jumpstart the stalled peace process.

  • One of them was a U.

  • N backed conference of regional powers and stakeholders.

  • We intend to ask the United Nations to convene foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States to discuss a unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan.

  • Now Afghanistan has a troubled history with its neighbors in a complex web of competing interests and proxy powers.

  • But increasingly, India is a new focus for diplomatic efforts to broker a lasting peace.

  • The US has made clear that it welcomes New Delhi's engagement.

  • India has fostered close ties to the Afghan government in recent years in the form of billions of dollars in aid and development.

  • Last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his support to a peace process that is led, owned and controlled by Afghanistan.

  • Mhm and joining me now from Delhi for more is she Avijit Roy.

  • He's an award winning journalist and reports on India's foreign relations for the Indian Express newspaper.

  • Shoot it Welcome.

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the peace process to be Afghan led and Afghan controlled, as does the U.

  • S.

  • State Department.

  • How does the current proposal from Antony Blinken involving six nations make it so well, uh, Beresh, You know, the the, uh, Indian position has always been that the Afghan peace process should be Afghan owned Afghan led and Afghan control and it also had, you know, about three or four red lines.

  • One being, uh, there should be a reduction in violence.

  • Women's rights should be respected and constitutional.

  • Uh, you know, uh, principles should be observed now in that India is finally part of the negotiating table in, uh, in a point on the path towards peace in Afghanistan.

  • This has been a US led proposal which, which was revealed last week, uh, through a letter by the U.

  • S.

  • Secretary of State and now, uh, India is expected to be finally be part of the table after being on the sidelines for almost a couple of decades now.

  • So what does India bring to the table?

  • Uh, India has invested in Afghanistan in in its reconstruction and redevelopment.

  • Uh, you know, in a big way, in a major way in the last two decades since, uh, you know, 2000 and one after the 9 11 attacks.

  • And, uh, it spent close to $3 billion in the reconstruction and redevelopment, and it has developed that constancy very carefully because, uh, you know, it essentially wants to counter Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan, which has been a problem for India.

  • From India's perspective, terrorism emanating out of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the cross border terrorism has been a major security challenge.

  • Uh, if you remember, about two or three decades back, when after the Afghan War uh, sort of, uh, ended the the elements, the terror elements from the from from the Afghan border, Afghan territory, they moved to Kashmir.

  • So that has been a major security challenge for India.

  • So India has has wanted that it should be involved in securing Afghanistan's peace and prosperity so that it is able to, uh, you know, have a say and not be on the sidelines.

  • You said India wanted to counter Pakistan's influence, but then India will find itself sitting at the talks table with Pakistan and with China to countries with whom relations haven't always been the best.

  • Let's just put it that way.

  • And you also have Russia, which has been a traditional Indian ally who is expected to be at the talk table but wasn't apparently too happy with India being part of this process.

  • So I'm just wondering here, how do these six nations get together despite these nations having divergent interests?

  • Well, you've, you know, hit the name at the at the right spot, you know what has happened is, although the countries have expressed it's the position that it should be Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan control.

  • But all the processes have been led, controlled and, you know, owned by other players, other actors in the region.

  • And that has been a major challenge for Afghanistan, uh, and the peace process.

  • Now, if it have to take off all the regional players, whether they see eye to eye with each other, whether be it, India versus Pakistan or India versus China, Russia with us, all the countries have to have the stakes, have to have the skin in the game for the peace process to move forward in a pragmatic in a feasible manner.

  • And that is the major challenge for this peace process, which has been fragile.

  • As you know, in the last year or so, that has been very evident.

  • Um, you speak to the people in the Afghan government as well.

  • I wonder how Afghan government officials view the involvement of so many nations in a peace process that is meant to benefit them.

  • Yes, Uh, you're absolutely right.

  • Afghan government has always wanted it, uh, the peace process to be led by them.

  • But unfortunately, as the reality stand on the ground, uh, they are They are one, uh, entity of one player in the in the in the mix the Taliban and as well as the Americans having cut a deal last year.

  • Now, more, more countries than most stakeholders are now in the game.

  • And, uh, they see some D.

  • C as not so benign influence.

  • And some the field can contribute to, uh, sort of a positive atmosphere for all the constitutional gains that they have acquired over the last two decades.

  • Should we destroy?

  • We'll leave it there for the time being.

The Biden administration has begun an overhaul of America's Afghanistan strategy and it finally wants India at the table.

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India is set to take on a greater role in Afghanistan’s peace process | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/10
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