Amid Afghan government’s efforts to bring Taliban elements into the mainstream, the upcoming Kabul conference is expected to see India expressing support for any reintegration move that leads to “genuine peace” in that country besides committing help in capacity building.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who will attend the conference of about 50 countries on July 20, is expected to underline India’s commitment to providing whatever help Afghanistan wants for its capacity-building.
Mr. Krishna is expected to convey India’s support to Mr. Karzai government’s efforts for reintegration of Taliban elements if that leads to “genuine peace”, sources said.
India does not see anything wrong if individual Taliban cadres are rehabilitated after they give up violence, end physical and ideological links with terror, vow to abide by the Afghan Constitution and commit to respect human rights, including women’s rights.
However, any reconciliation with Taliban as a group or entity is seen by India as dangerous.
The Kabul conference is taking place at a time when the Karzai government is working on a Peace and Reconciliation scheme aimed at bringing Taliban elements into the mainstream.
Under the scheme, foot soldiers or low and middle-level fighters of Taliban are to be attracted with promises of jobs, vocational training and education.
Mr. Krishna is also expected to emphasise that India will be forthcoming in providing whatever help Afghanistan wants for building of public institutions and other capacities, the sources said.
India is of the view that the Afghan people, instead of foreigners, should be determining their fate.
In this regard, building of capacities of Afghan people in various sectors will be the key.
During Mr. Karzai’s visit here in April, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had emphasised that close cooperation between the two countries was in the interest of their people and peace and stability in the region and beyond.
He had told Mr. Karzai about India’s commitment to augment its assistance for capacity building and for skill and human resources development to help strengthen public institutions there.
The Kabul conference will be attended among others by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The meet, being held at a time when the situation in Afghanistan is precarious, is expected to focus on deliverables of the Karzai government in terms of its reintegration moves.