Amid growing global concern over the Taliban’s rapid advances in Afghanistan, India on Thursday said it supports the government and the people of the country in realising their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future that protects the interests of all sections. At a media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the India-Afghanistan relations are guided by the strategic partnership agreement signed between the two sides in 2011.
“As a contiguous neighbour, India supports the government and the people of Afghanistan in realising their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future where the interests of all sections of the Afghan society, including women and minorities, are protected,” he said. Bagchi also referred to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s comments at the Afghanistan Conference in Geneva last year reaffirming India’s long-term commitment to the development of the war-ravaged country.
As the situation deteriorated in Afghanistan in the last few weeks, India has been in touch with leading international players as well as the Afghan government on the overall developments in the country. Afghanistan has been witnessing a series of terror attacks since the United States began withdrawing its troops from the country on May 1.
The US has already pulled back the majority of its forces and is looking to complete the drawdown by August 31, ending nearly two decades of its military presence in Afghanistan. The Taliban was evicted from power by the US-led forces in 2001. Now, as the US is pulling its troops back, the Taliban fighters are attempting to gain control of various parts of the country.
India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It has already invested nearly USD 3 billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the country. India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.