- Pakistan has for the first time joined the US, Russia and China’s trilateral consultations on the Afghanistan peace process.
- The four countries have jointly urged the Taliban to immediately agree to a ceasefire and begin direct negotiations with the Afghanistan government to end the 18-year violence in the war-torn country.
- However,India has neither been included in the peace negotiations nor have India’s concerns being taken into consideration.India had opposed the US proposal to postpone the Afghanistan’s presidential elections until the peace process with Taliban is finalised.
- Further,experts have asked India to be more proactive as India’s investment in Afghanistan has been largely with the Afghanistan Government.
- Meanwhile,Afghanistan’s elected government has been under concerted pressure as (a)Taliban has refused to engage with them (b)Taliban has recently increased its attacks (c)Neither US, Russia, China or Pakistan have given the government any place at the talks and (d)Pakistan’s airspace ban has cut off Afghanistan from India imposing economic costs and making a political point of the indispensability of Pakistan.
- The US negotiator with Taliban has said that it has achieved progress on four fronts (a)assurances from the Taliban that Afghanistan will not become a staging ground for militant groups (b)withdrawal of US troops (c)all-Afghan dialogue to reach agreement on peaceful future and (d)permanent ceasefire.
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