NEW DELHI: New Delhi remains sceptical over the ‘significant progress’ reported by US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad after his last round of week-long talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, last week.
On January 26, Khalilzad tweeted that “After six days in Doha, I’m headed to #Afghanistan for consultations. Meetings here were more productive than they have been in past.”
Earlier, there were reports that the Taliban had agreed in principle to a draft framework in which they would guarantee that Afghan territory is not used by terrorists following a total US pullout over the next 18 months. The Taliban has reportedly sought time to confer over the deal, and the next meeting may be in February.
On Tuesday, Khalilzad spoke to foreign envoys in Kabul, including India’s Deputy Chief of Mission in Afghanistan, to apprise them of the developments. While there has been no official comment from New Delhi bar MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar’s assertion that any attempts at peace should be “...Afghan-controlled and with the participation of the government of Afghanistan,” privately some officials expressed concern over US President Donald Trump’s “impatience” to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan “without thinking it through.”