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India, US are on the same page on Afghanistan, but New Delhi "not taken into confidence" on all

Nirendra Dev

Nirendra DevOct 01, 2021, 09:54 AM IST

India, US are on the same page on Afghanistan, but New Delhi "not taken into confidence" on all

Dr S Jaishankar said New Delhi was not taken into confidence on commitments made by the Taliban at the Doha talks and said it was discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden held bilateral talks in Washington recently.  


New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has said that while there was unanimity on many issues on Afghanistan between India and the US, New Delhi was not taken into confidence on "commitments" made by the Taliban at the Doha talks. 

"....When I say levels of concern, the commitments which were made by the Taliban at Doha, the US knows it best. We were not taken into confidence on various aspects of that," Dr Jaishankar said, speaking virtually at the Leadership summit of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

"I think we are on similar pages at a principle level on many of these issues, certainly say terrorism," he said and clarified that the use of Afghan soil for terrorism is something both the countries "feel so strongly".

He said this was something that was discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden held bilateral talks in Washington recently. 

A career diplomat that he has been, Dr Jaishankar put it in the right and balanced perspective.

"There will be issues on which we (India and US) will agree more, there will be issues on which we will agree less." 

He further said in an apparent potshot at Pakistan: "Our experiences in some respects are different from yours (the US). We have been victims of cross-border terrorism ourselves from that region and that has shaped in many ways our view of some of the neighbours of Afghanistan." 

Dr Jaishankar described the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue as a grouping that brings together four countries with shared values and a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific.

During a conversation with former American ambassador Frank Wisner on threat perception vis-à-vis developments in Afghanistan, the Minister said, "I think to some degree, we all will be justified in having levels of concern. And to some degree, the jury is still out."

And it was in this context, he said, the commitments made by the Taliban at Doha, the US would know the "best". 

"We were not taken into confidence in various aspects." 

Dr Jaishankar said, "Most importantly, are we going to see an Afghanistan whose soil is not used for terrorism against other states and the rest of the world. I think these are the concerns and these concerns were 
captured by a UN Security Council resolution in August," he said.

"When we look at what happened in Afghanistan and the region, I think these are going to have very significant consequences for all of us. And we are so close to the region. There are a set of concerns 
and issues," he said.
 

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