Afghan peace process can’t be Pak-driven: India

In a clear pointer to Pakistan, India on Sunday said that any "external" interference in the transition process of Afghanistan will be detrimental to both its success and the future of the Afghan people.

Last Updated: Jan 09, 2011, 15:44 PM IST

Kabul: In a clear pointer to Pakistan, India
on Sunday said that any "external" interference in the transition
process of Afghanistan will be detrimental to both its success
and the future of the Afghan people.

Echoing India`s views, Afghanistan said the peace process
cannot succeed without being led by the Afghan people and
noted that the process was fully controlled by it.

These views were expressed at a joint press conference
here by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and his Afghan
counterpart Zalmay Rasool after their extensive talks on
issues like terrorism in the region, security of Indians and
various economic projects.

Though both leaders refrained from naming Pakistan,
the message was clear for Islamabad, which has been
pressing for a decisive role in the Afghan transition process.

They were asked about international concerns that the
transition process might become Pakistan-brokered and not
Afghan-driven.

"Any external interference in the reintegration process
would be detrimental to its success and for the future of
democratic, stable, pluralistic and prosperous Afghanistan,"
Krishna said.

Rasool said the peace process was from people of
Afghanistan and insisted that it cannot succeed without being
led by Afghan people.

Krishna, who also called on President Hamid Karzai, is
here on a two-day visit to convey India`s concerns over some
aspects of the transition process in Afghanistan, including
Karzai`s move to provide representation to the Taliban over
which New Delhi has serious reservation. India feels that such
a move amounts to giving legitimacy to these elements.

The External Affairs Minister also asserted that despite
security concerns, India will continue to provide
developmental assistance as long as the Afghan government
wants. He also noted that Afghanistan government has assured
India of full security.

"India is not going to be cowed down by such threats. We
will continue to remain in Afghanistan as long as the
legitimately elected government of Afghanistan wants us...,"
Krishna said.

In February last year, seven Indians were killed in a
Taliban suicide attack on foreigners in Kabul, which claimed
16 lives and left 20 people critically injured.

PTI