External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that he had a very detailed discussion with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and they both agreed that there cannot be a takeover of the war-torn country by use of force.
Addressing the upper house, the minister said, “We (Indian leadership) highlighted that in our approach to global issues we’re guided by quest for perfect union but we seek to right historical wrongs. When it comes to freedom, we shouldn’t treat it as non-governance or abdication of responsibilities. Our conversation on this should be balanced.”
Regarding the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, EAM Jaishankar said, “That there can’t be a military solution, there can’t be a takeover by use of force in Afghanistan. We’ll work with international community to ensure that political negotiations for a settlement are pursued seriously and we would never accept an outcome which is decided by force.”
Blinken, during his two-day India visit, discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues including Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific and COVID-19 cooperation.
During Blinken’s visit, Jaishankar said he articulated India’s position at a presser that was jointly held with the US Secretary of State. “We were very clear that there must be a negotiated, political settlement in Afghanistan.”
“We (EAM & US Secy of State) had a very detailed discussion on Afghanistan. I articulated our position at a press conference that was jointly held with the visiting US Secy of State. We were very clear that there must be a negotiated political settlement in Afghanistan.”
The minister further added that there was a “very strong convergence in our (India and US) positions on this matter.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Jaishankar had underlined the importance of peace negotiations in Afghanistan and spoke against the unilateral “imposition of will” in the war-torn country while calling for preserving the gains made over the past two decades.
During a joint presser with Blinken, Jaishankar had said, “The gains to Afghan civil society, especially rights of women, minorities and social freedom — over the last two decades are self-evident. Afghanistan must never be home to terrorism, nor become a source of refugees.” (ANI)