India offered Pak to work jointly in Afghanistan: Saran

Last Updated: Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 19:54

Washington: India had offered Pakistan to jointly work in Afghanistan, but there were no takers of this offer in Islamabad, a former top Indian diplomat has said.

"We have offered to Pakistan, we are willing to sit out with them and give a read out to what we are doing in Afghanistan," former foreign secretary Shyam Saran said at an event organised by the Asia Society here yesterday.

"We have also said, our offer has been to work together in Afghanistan, and do some joint projects, work together that would contribute to the peace and prosperity in Afghanistan."

Responding to questions on the concerns of Pakistan on India`s role in Afghanistan, Saran said this offer has been made to Pakistan time and again, but there has been no response from Pakistan, neither does Islamabad seems to be interested in talking with India on Afghanistan.

There are a number of things that the two South Asian neighbours can do together in Afghanistan, which can bring peace and stability in this war torn country, said Saran, who is in the US to attend a conference on Afghanistan in Boston.

Saran yesterday met Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the State Department.

Asserting that India would continue with its peaceful developmental work inside Afghanistan post 2104, Saran, however indicated that New Delhi could look for other (hard) option if situation changes and Afghanistan once again become a safe haven for terrorists that would harm the security interest of India.

"It should come as no surprise that if Afghan or parts of Afghan once again become a safe haven and be used to target against India or Kashmir. We would have to strengthen ourselves to deal with our own security. This is one of the guideposts in our relationship," he said.

"India`s assistance to Afghanistan and expansion to that will continue after 2014. As of now Indian approach would be on training part, capacity building. If that does not work and worst case scenario develop then India would reassess what its approach would be," Saran said, referring to India`s support to the Northern Alliance in association with other regional countries to deal with the situation after the Taliban came to power.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 19:50

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