India on Thursday said it would participate in “all formats of talks” on discussing a solution for peace in Afghanistan, setting off speculation that New Delhi could formally share the table with the Taliban in talks among all stakeholders in future. New Delhi also said it hoped the Afghan presidential elections would be held as per schedule.
“We will participate in all formats of talks (on Afghanistan)”, the MEA spokesperson said.
It may be recalled that three months ago, India had participated in a “non-official” capacity th-rough two distinguished retired Indian diplomats — former Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha and former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan T.C.A. Raghavan —-at the Moscow peace conference on Afghanistan. That conference was also attended by the Taliban, of which Pakistan is widely seen as the main backer. The failure of the US and the Afghan government back-ed by it to defeat the Tali-ban militarily has ensu-red that Pakistan continues to play a prominent role in the peace process and insist that there can be no military solution.
New Delhi is also worried that the Afghan conflict has been caught up in the current tensions between Russia and the United States.
The US is a powerful backer of the Afghan government, while the Russians are reportedly feeling left out. No wonder then that Russia is seen to have suddenly gone soft on the Afghan Taliban and its main backer Pakistan.