Future of Afghanistan cannot be its past, says EAM Jaishankar at SCO meet

New Delhi: The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past and the world is against seizure of power by violence and force, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Wednesday at a key meeting of the SCO in the backdrop of Taliban fighters gaining control over large parts of the conflict-ridden country.

In his address at the meeting of the SCO foreign ministers’ contact group on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Jaishankar also emphasised the need for ensuring that Kabul’s neighbours are not “threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism”.

The meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s contact group took place in the midst of growing global concerns over escalating violence in Afghanistan as the US looked to complete withdrawal of its troops from the country by August 31.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar were among those who participated at the meeting.

Presenting India’s views on Afghanistan, Jaishankar said the world, the region and the Afghan people all want an “independent, neutral, unified, peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation”.

“Peace negotiations in earnest is the only answer. An acceptable compromise that reflects the Doha process, Moscow format and Istanbul process is essential The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past,” he tweeted.

“A whole new generation has different expectations. We should not let them down,” Jaishankar added.

The Doha process, Moscow format and Istanbul process are separate frameworks for dialogue to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan.

“The challenge is to act seriously and sincerely on these beliefs. Because there are forces at work with a very different agenda. The world is against seizure of power by violence and force. It will not legitimise such actions,” Jaishankar said.

He also called for ceasing violence and terrorist attacks against civilians and state representatives and pitched for settling conflict through political dialogue, and by respecting the interests of all ethnic groups.

Afghanistan witnessed a series of terror attacks in the last few weeks as the US aimed to complete the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan by August-end, ending a nearly two-decade of its military presence in the war-ravaged country.