Connect with us

International

No talks with Taliban, India attends Moscow conference on Afghanistan in ‘non-official’ capacity

Agencies

Published

🕒

on

IST

Moscow : India made it clear that its participation in the multilateral conference in Moscow, Russia, was in sync with its Afghan policy and asserted that attending the meeting was not talking to the Taliban at all. It also said that it attended the conference in a “non-official” capacity in a bid to bring back peace in Afghanistan.

Initially, the meeting was proposed for September 4 but it was called off after the Afghan government pulled out of it. India had also declined an invitation to the meeting then. The Afghan government is learnt to have sent the country’s High Peace Council.

The one-day conference was hosted by Russia and participated by the Taliban as well as representatives from several countries including Pakistan, China and Iran.
Asked why India sent representatives to the meeting when the Taliban was participating in it, the spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar said in New Delhi that India will be part of any peace process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

 

“We will participate in any process which is consistent with the policy we have for Afghanistan… It was decided by the government that our participation will be at non-official level,” he said.

To a question on participation of Taliban in the meeting, he said, “Where did we say that there will be talks with Taliban? We did not say that.” “In our policy on Afghanistan which we have articulated and which has been consistent for quite sometime that we will be supportive of any process in Afghanistan is a party to the process,” said Kumar.

India’s consistent policy has been that the peace talks should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the government of Afghanistan. India has been actively engaged in reconstruction activities in war-ravaged Afghanistan and has already spent USD 2 billion in various projects there.

India’s former envoy to Afghanistan Amar Sinha and former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan were representing New Delhi at a “non-official” capacity.

In his opening remarks at the conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia and the countries of the region will continue to do everything possible to launch dialogue between Afghan government and the Taliban, which is banned in Russia. “We are determined to make every possible effort to facilitate the opening of a new page in the history of Afghanistan,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run Tass news agency.

Lavrov said the conference was “aimed at building an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue in order to advance the national reconciliation process”.

The US Embassy in Moscow has sent a diplomat to observe Friday’s discussions at the meeting which is being attended by representatives from Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, Pakistan and some other countries.


Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

International

Pakistan will be a very important country in coming future, says Saudi crown prince

Agencies

Published

on

Islamabad :Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman expressed optimism about the economic future of Pakistan, saying his country had been waiting for a leadership like that of Prime Minister Imran Khan to partner with Islamabad in various areas.

Addressing a reception dinner at Prime Minister House hours after arriving in Pakistan, the crown prince — known as MBS for short — said Pakistan is a “dear country” to all Saudis and that the two countries “have walked together in tough and good times”.

He said Pakistan today had a great future in store “with a great leadership”, and noted that the country’s GDP grew by 5 per cent in 2018.

 

“We believe that Pakistan is going to be a very, very important country in the coming future and we want to be sure we are part of that,” the crown prince said.

Turning towards Prime Minister Khan, he said his country had been “waiting for that kind of a leadership” to partner with and “build a lot of things together”.

He noted that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan today signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for investment cooperation.

“We believe the amount of that kind of investment is US $20 billion,” MBS said. “It’s big, for phase one.”

He expressed the hope that the investment will grow to bigger numbers in the coming years and be beneficial for both the countries.

The Saudi royal said his country would collaborate with Pakistan economically, politically and in terms of security. “We believe in our region, that is why we are investing in it,” he added.

“This is my first trip [to the] east since I became the crown prince and the first country [that I have visited] is Pakistan,” the Saudi royal concluded.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his speech welcomed the Saudi crown prince and his delegation to the country, saying the Kingdom has always been a “friend in need” to Pakistan.

“For Pakistanis, this is a great day,” the premier said, adding that Saudi Arabia had always been there when Pakistan needed friends.

“I want to thank you for the way you helped us when we were in [a] bad situation,” Khan told MBS, adding that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were now taking their relationship to a new level, where investment agreements would be mutually beneficial for the countries.

The investment would revolve around minerals, tourism, petrochemicals, agriculture, food processing and other areas, he said.

Prime Minister Khan also invited Riyadh to avail opportunities that can arise from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Pakistan’s close links with Beijing. “It is an exciting future where we have Saudi Arabia participating in what is going to be, in the next 10 years, probably the country with the biggest GDP,” he added.
Khan told MBS that if it hadn’t been for security concerns, “you would have seen thousands and thousands of people on the streets welcoming you.”

The prime minister’s speech preceded the address of the Saudi crown prince, but once MBS finished, Khan rose again to speak about two issues.

One, he requested MBS to allow Pakistani Haj pilgrims to undergo immigration at the three major Pakistani airports before leaving for Saudi Arabia for their convenience.

Secondly, Prime Minister Khan requested the Saudi authorities to look into the hardships of the Pakistani labourers working in the Kingdom.

“There are some 3,000 [Pakistani] prisoners there and we just would like you to bear in mind that they are poor people who have left their families behind,” Khan said.
Terming it a “special request”, the premier asked MBS to “look upon them [Pakistani labourers] as your own people”.

In response, MBS told Prime Minister Khan he could consider him the ambassador of Pakistan in Saudi Arabia.

“We cannot say no to Pakistan … whatever we can do, we will deliver that.”

Continue Reading

International

Saudi crown prince orders release of over 2,000 Pakistani prisoners

Agencies

Published

on

Islamabad:The morning after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman promised to deliver “whatever we can do” for Pakistanis living in the kingdom, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced that MBS had ordered the immediate release of over 2,000 Pakistani prisoners in Saudi jails.

Prime Minister Imran Khan at a ceremony held to welcome the crown prince at PM House had made a “special request” to MBS to look into the hardships of Pakistani labourers working in the kingdom, and to “look upon them as your own people”.

“There are some 3,000 [Pakistani] prisoners there and we just would like you to bear in mind that they are poor people who have left their families behind,” Khan had said.

 

MBS had responded by assuring the premier to consider him Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Prince Mohammad had continued: “We cannot say no to Pakistan … whatever we can do, we will deliver that.”

Prime Minister Khan in a tweet today said that the crown prince had “won the hearts of the people of Pakistan when he said, ‘Consider me Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia’ in response to my asking him to treat the 2.5 million Pakistanis working in KSA as his own.”

Read more: ‘Pakistan will be a very important country in coming future,’ says Saudi crown prince Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet today said: “As a sequel to Prime Minister of Pakistan’s request, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of KSA Mohammad Bin Salman has ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners from Saudi Jails.”

This was Prince Mohammad’s first state visit since becoming crown prince. Saudi Arabia has signed agreements worth $21 billion with Pakistan in various fields, including cooperation in power production, establishment of an oil refinery and petrochemical plant, promotion of sports and technical assistance in the standardisation sector.

Continue Reading

International

Taliban say unable to attend Pakistan talks; blame travel blacklist

Agencies

Published

on

Washington:The Taliban have postponed an unscheduled round of peace talks with the United States set for in Pakistan saying “most” members of their negotiating team are unable to travel because they’re on the US and United Nations’ blacklists.

The statement offered no other details. It did not explain how several members previously were able to travel to meetings in the United Arab Emirates and Moscow.

The Taliban maintain a political office in Qatar, where members of the negotiating team reside.

 

The Islamabad talks were seen as significant, coinciding with the visit of the Saudi crown prince to Pakistan.

The Taliban 14-member team includes five former inmates of the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, and Anas Haqqani, the jailed younger brother of the leader of the militant Haqqani network.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 988,238 other subscribers

Archives

February 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728  
Advertisement