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India warns against talks with Taliban

January 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, Jan 24: India has voiced caution about US-backed efforts to reach a political solution with Afghanistan’s Taliban, warning against a victory for the “dark forces of terrorism”.

Nirupama Rao, the Indian Ambassador to the United States, voiced strong support for US-led military efforts in Afghanistan but said her country was “keenly watching” tentative attempts for talks with the Taliban.

“While we agree that ultimately there would have to be a political solution, we also believe that this should not become an overriding objective that needs to be achieved at all costs.

“That would risk the prospect of a victory of those dark forces of terrorism and religious extremism that have plagued the region for so long,” she said in a speech at George Washington University.

US envoy Marc Grossman held talks this weekend in Afghanistan with President Hamid Karzai and said he found strong support for peace efforts, as the Taliban look to open an office in Qatar to facilitate talks.—AFP