India not interested in proxy war in Afghan: Shyam Saran



New Delhi: Referring to Pakistan's concerns over India's involvement in reconstruction work in Afghanistan, a special envoy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said India was not in the business of having a proxy war in the conflict-torn nation.

"We are not in the business of having some kind of a proxy war in Afghanistan or carving out a base for ourselves," Shyam Saran said here.

Saran, who steps down from his post tomorrow, said India's role in Afghanistan was limited to humanitarian issues and providing relief, economic reconstruction and facilitating human resource development there.

"We do recognise that unless these kinds of needs of the Afghans are not met there is always a chance that there would be a relapse into chaos and great distress," said Saran, a former foreign secretary.

He was speaking at the inaugural Fletcher South Asia Colloquium.

Pakistan High Commission official Syed Zulfiqar Gardezi, who also participated in the colloquium, contended that as Afghanistan's immediate neighbour Pakistan must have a say in the discussions on Afghanistan.

Responding to the contention, Saran said "I do not think it is legitimate for any country to start defining its interests in a manner which transcends borders and has a veto on what is happening on the other side of the border."

PTI