India is “closely monitoring” the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, said an official of the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday.
Addressing the weekly press briefing, spokesperson Arindam Bagchi laid out the position ahead of the UNSC discussion on Afghanistan and said the relation with Afghanistan is guided by the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in 2011.
“We are closely monitoring the evolving security situation, and we continue to call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. We support an Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled peace process,” said Mr. Bagchi at the virtual press conference.
The comment highlighted the strategic nature of the bilateral relationship under which India had earlier sent military hardware to the government of Afghanistan. Over the last few days, several public protests took place in Herat and Kabul against the Taliban attacks which saw widespread participation of mostly pro-government crowd. The protests took place soon after a car bomb exploded outside the house of the Afghan Defence Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi.
“We are also strategic partners, and are guided by Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in 2011. We have been supporting the government and people of Afghanistan in realising their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future, where the interests of all sections of Afghan society, including women and minorities are protected,” said Mr Bagchi.
Under the 2011 agreement, India and Afghanistan are committed to fight together against international terrorism. Under the same agreement, India came forward to help the Afghan National Security Forces with training, equipment and capacity building — as mutually determined”.
The statement gave a hint of the position that its Permanent Representative will take at the Security Council on Friday when the issue of Afghanistan will discussed. The UNSC is facing a difficult question as most of the permanent members have opened dialogue with the Taliban which is posing a tough military challenge to the government of President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul. India has maintained that capture of state power by force will be counterproductive for the future of Afghanistan.
“We look forward to productive deliberations on this important issue,” said Mr. Bagchi.