Moscow/New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) India is concerned about the security situation in Afghanistan and will continue to support the local government’s efforts for peace, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday.
The minister is in Moscow to participate in a joint meeting of the Defence Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.
Addressing the meeting, he said: “India will continue to support the efforts of the people and the government of Afghanistan for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled inclusive peace process.”
He appreciated the role of SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan and how it is useful for exchanging notes among SCO member states.
The current security situation in Afghanistan remains volatile with both the Taliban and the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) stepping up attacks across the country.
In its bid to enhance its territory, the Taliban seized control of Yumgan district in the northeastern province of Badakhshan in March, while continuing with its attacks targeting the Afghan security forces. The Taliban have long controlled the Yumgan and Jurm districts of Badakhshan Province until the government forces retook them late in 2019.
Rajnath Singh also said that India is also deeply concerned about the situation in the Persian Gulf.
He asserted that India has vital interests and civilisational links with all states in the Gulf.
“We call upon countries in the region – all of which are dear and friendly to India, to resolve differences by dialogue based on mutual respect, sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs,” he said.
The minister also said that a peaceful stable and secure region of SCO member states – which is home to over 40 per cent of the global population – demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other’s interest and peaceful resolution of differences.