Jaishankar says India backs Afghan-Taliban dialogue
Context: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said India supports the Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN), in a rare direct reference to the Taliban at the 9th Heart of Asia conference in Tajikistan.
- Jaishankar attended the meet along with Foreign Ministers of 15 countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Central Asian states.
- India has not in the past referred directly to the Taliban, and the government has not opened any public engagement with the militant group.
- Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan“fears that any space gained by ISIS and Al-Qaeda could accentuate the threat of terrorism and cautioned against the role of spoilers, both within and outside Afghanistan.
About Heart of Asia:
- The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) was founded on November 2nd, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
- The Heart of Asia provides a platform for sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region.
- This platform was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners.
- The Heart of Asia comprises 15 participating countries, 17 supporting countries, and 12 supporting regional and international organizations.