If Delhi can talk to Taliban why not Kashmir militants

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Head- Deputy Chairman of the Afghanistan High Peace Council Din Mohammad Azizullah and Head of Political Office of the Taliban Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai

The talks came with the Taliban ratcheting up pressure on Afghan police and troops this year even as the militants showed a tentative willingness to hold talks with the United States. "Given how keen Kabul is to launch a peace process, amid a strengthening insurgency and intensifying violence, it recognizes that any meeting about a peace process with Taliban participation is worth attending".

Raghavan is now the Director General of the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) think-tank.

Russia's foreign ministry billed Friday's Afghan peace talks event in Moscow as the first direct high-level talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reports. India and Russian Federation had resolved to direct their activities towards launching joint development and capacity building projects in Afghanistan. This week, the White House's special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is touring the region, tasked with pressing the Taliban and the government to form negotiating teams.

The U.S. sent an observer from its Moscow embassy to the meeting after it refused to attend the September talks, saying they wouldn't help efforts to end the conflict. "This is a meeting to debate the current situation in Afghanistan".

Announcing a five-member delegation for the Moscow talks, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) said in a statement, "This conference is not about holding negotiations with any party whatsoever; rather it is about finding a peaceful solution to the issue of Afghanistan..."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that "we reaffirm our position on the lack of alternative to a political settlement in Afghanistan and the need for active coordinated efforts by Afghanistan's neighbouring countries and regional partners".


While a five-member Taliban delegation led by Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, head of the Taliban's political council in Qatar, will attend the meeting, the United States has also confirmed its participation.

"With participation in the meeting, the global status of the Islamic Emirate [the Taliban] will be strengthened even further Such diplomatic efforts of the Islamic Emirate showcase the active, clear and independent diplomacy and policy of the Islamic Emirate in the political field", asserted the insurgent spokesman.

Kumar added that India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in the strife-torn country and bring stability in the region. Regional players like Pakistan, China and Iran are among the participants of the meeting hosted by Russian Federation.

Nevertheless, VOA quotes the Trump administration as saying the us will attend in coordination with Kabul. This format has given Moscow a leadership position in the Afghanistan situation, at a time when the United States is ceding the space.

The meeting was supposed to take place on September 4, however, it was postponed at the last moment after the Afghan Government pulled out citing that the Taliban had "disrespected internationally-sanctioned principles and rejected the message of peace and direct negotiations".

This will be the first time that India will be sharing talks table with the Afghan Taliban on issues of peace and stability in Afghanistan. New Delhi has always maintained that it will engage with the elected government of Afghanistan, and participating in the meeting would have given legitimacy to the Taliban.

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