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International Relations

Taliban fighters celebrating the completion of the U.S. pullback on Wednesday.  

The Taliban should form an inclusive government that will bring national reconciliation in Afghanistan, a group of eminent citizens, led by former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh, has said. Extending solidarity to the Afghanistan people, it stated that the people of India stood “shoulder to shoulder” with them.

“Afghanistan needs an inclusive government that facilitates national reconciliaton after four long decades of wars and violence. Therefore, we appeal to the Taliban and other political forces to begin an intra-Afghan peace process leading to a democratic government establishment,” declared a statement issued by the Indian Friends of Afghanistan, which comprises former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Mani Shankar Aiyar and peace activist Sudheendra Kulkarni.

The Taliban should ensure that no terrorist organisation is allowed to find sanctuary in Afghanistan. The new power holders of Kabul should respect every Afghan citizen irrespective of ethnicity, ideology or past political background. The Taliban should respect the rights of women and safeguard the developmental projects, it said.

The group appealed to the international community to not exclude any regional country from “collaborative efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan”. “This requires India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Iran and other countries to evolve and implement a common strategy, in cooperation with themembers of the international community,” it stressed.

“There should be no discrimination on grounds of religion in providing shelter to Afghans forced to leave their country. India should permit temporary stay to Afghan journalists, artists and civil society leaders feeling threatened by the conditions in their country,” the group added.

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