NEW DELHI: Former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai on Tuesday expressed hope for dialogue between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s government led by President Ashraf Ghani.
The Taliban has been conducting talks with the US-appointed peace negotiator while a direct dialogue between Kabul and Taliban is yet to begin.
“I hope the day comes and the Afghan government and the Taliban talk with each other about reaching a peace deal,” The Hindu quoted Mr Karzai as saying.
Mr Karzai, who headed the first post-Taliban government of Afghanistan till 2014, is in New Delhi to participate in the government sponsored Raisina Dialogue.
The other Afghan participant is Dr Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Adviser of the government in Kabul.
India has maintained that a dialogue for peace will have to follow the model of “Afghan owned and Afghan led and Afghan controlled”.
The US-Taliban peace negotiation is at a critical juncture as the Taliban have not moved ahead on responding to American proposals. Comments from Mr Karzai could work in favour of creating an environment for including the government in Kabul, The Hindu said.
The Raisina Dialogue’s inaugural session was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar who sat among the audience while Mr. Karzai spoke about the possibilities of peace. The inaugural session also included former Prime Ministers Stephen Harper (Canada), Anders Vogh Rasmussen (Denmark), Carl Boldt (Sweden), Helen Clark (New Zealand), Tshering Tobgay (Bhutan) and Han Seung-soo (South Korea).
Apart from the regional conflict, air pollution and climate emergency also featured in the opening session. Mr Tobgay emphasised his country’s commitment to controlling climate change.
Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2020