Originally published on Sep 19, 2017,  The Tribune India

 

Indo-Afghan ties no threat to Pak: Envoy

 

 

KV Prasad

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18

 

Much to the chagrin of Pakistan, with the new US-Afghan policy envisaging greater role for India in it, Afghanistan Ambassador Shaida Mohammed Abdali said New Delhi-Kabul ties are not a threat to Islamabad. 

Abdali said the problem in the region, especially with Kabul’s neighbour, is that it pursues policies based on Cold War era that no longer exists. Fresh from Pune Dialogue, he said no relationship should be seen from the prism of a particular country and the bilateral relationship with India should be seen as building partnership for the well-being of everyone. 

“I discussed that the Cold War era was based on zero-sum game and that narrative is coming out of the zero-sum game. The 21st century is about globalisation and regionalisation and it means win-win. Therefore, it is a defining moment and we change our perspective, adopt a new vision that we embrace one another and look positively to expansion of relationship, no matter what country does that in this region. We hope to use the current opportunity,” he said.

On the US policy, Abdali said he was glad that the talk of western fatigue or imminent leaving of troops was over. Stating that Western forces leaving without ending what it began would result in anarchy, therefore Afghanistan insisted on a long-term commitment to tackle the problem that is a threat to everyone in the region and beyond. “We would like to embrace the 21st century politics, whoever wants Afghanistan to do that politics, which is to be based on sincerity, on collective prosperity for everyone and not to accept anyone dictating any other country’s foreign policy as to how that policy should be.” 

On China-Russia initiative and creating a role for the two in Afghanistan, the Ambassador said Kabul always advocated regional cooperation and regional ownership. “However, such unity should not add to the problem.” He welcomed the BRICS declaration stating that in fact it resonates movement towards unity and not disunity.

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