Better Indo-Pak ties good for Afghanistan: US
KABUL (ANI): Improved relations between Pakistan and India would help normalise the situation in Afghanistan, the US special representative said on Thursday, saying there was no prospect of any agreement with Taliban unless they renounced terrorism.
James Dobbins told reporters in New Delhi: "I think any improvement in India-Pakistan ties will automatically improve the Afghanistan situation. I have met twice now in little more than two weeks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. And my sense is that improvement in relations with India is very high on his list of priorities."
Following talks with Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on the Afghan reconciliation drive, the American diplomat said no one knew how the process was going to progress. He saw no certainty of the process reducing violence.
India has important stakes in a stable, secure and peaceful Afghanistan, the Asia News International (ANI) quoted Dobbins as saying. "I have come to Delhi and hope to be able to come back regularly because India has an important stake and influence in Afghanistan...”
The envoy added he had returned to India at a time when NATO and US forces were moving from combat to an advisory and assistance role in Afghanistan. "And more importantly, at a time when Afghanistan will be going through its first peaceful democratic transition."
Dobbins ruled out any agreement with Taliban unless they shunned terrorism. "We certainly agree that there is no prospect for improving relations with the Taliban or, any agreement with the Taliban, unless the issue of terrorism is directly addressed."
Next year’s presidential elections in Afghanistan should be given more importance than the ongoing efforts at wooing the Taliban to the negotiating table, he remarked, arguing the polls were central to the country’s future.
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