Building Peace and Connectivity through Research and Dialogue

Afghanistan-India Relations: Delhi’s role in the Afghan Peace Process

In a Track 2 dialogue, hosted by the Heart of Asia Society and VIF India , participants examined the two countries’ bilateral relations & acknowledged the absence of India in the Afghan Peace Process. Members called for India’s greater engagement in the regional diplomacy and the peace process.

Participants deplored the recent spike in fighting and violence, shared concerns about Taliban’s military push and asked for support to the Afghan army.

The recent mobilization of Afghans from Herat to Kabul to Khost to Jalalabad is inspiring and shows unity among the Afghan people. The international community should hear these voices that are against war and demand peace.

US – Taliban deal didn’t result in peace for the Afghan people and the peace process granted Taliban the legitimacy they have been fighting for 20 years. However, Taliban objective of military takeover should not garner any legitimacy from regional and international partners and Taliban ambitions must be made clear and openly discussed.

The recent calls from the Afghan people, Afghan leaders and international partners demand that the Taliban’s current posture and recent increase in attacks be examined, and pressure brought to bear for a political settlement.

Regional consensus is critical and must be constructive for peace in Afghanistan and the region. Participants recognized the challenge of mobilizing the region to come together and emphasized that further insecurity and instability in Afghanistan is not in the interest of anyone.

While each country in the region might have their own interests and line of communication with the Taliban, it is a shared responsibility to prevent further instability. This is not about one group as a threat, but rather tackling the roots of extremist ideology.

To defeat terrorism, leaders of the region and international partners must work together. Working together for a shared and prosperous region is in the interest of ordinary people, and must remain the main interest and priority. We are bound to face the consequences collectively.

Participants warned that there is greater awareness and understanding among the people on these issues and that the public will demand real and genuine efforts by the region and international partners. Time to act is now.

(Brief summary of the dialogue.)