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No role for India in Afghan peace Process: Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said that there was no role for India in the renewed Afghan peace process to end the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan.

During his weekly press briefing Foreign Office spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said that there was no role for New Delhi in the Afghan reconciliation process.

He was responding a question about Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement earlier this month in the National Assembly in which he said Indian cooperation was needed for the Afghan endgame.

Speaking on the floor of the house, Qureshi had said that bringing peace in Afghanistan was a shared responsibility and hence Pakistan could not accomplish this job alone.

For this purpose, the foreign minister added, support of regional countries, including India, was required. “Since India is present in Afghanistan, its cooperation in this regard will also be required,” the minister further said.

His statement was seen as a possible shift in Pakistan’s policy as it in the past opposed any role for India in Afghanistan.

But the latest statement by the Foreign Office spokesperson suggested that Pakistan still maintained its stated position.

However, the United States is desirous to give India a greater role in Afghanistan which is opposed by Pakistan.

Pakistan is of the view that India acts as a ‘spoiler’ because of its secret agencies’ growing footprint in Afghanistan.

Earlier this month US President Donald sought Pakistan’s help to facilitate US-Taliban talks. Pakistan facilitated December 17-19 talks in UAE between Afghan Taliban and the US which was also attended by Saudi Arabia and UAE.

After these negotiations, Foreign Minister Qureshi undertook a four-nation tour to take the regional partners into confidence over the Afghan reconciliation process.