India welcomes power-sharing deal between Afghan rival leaders Ghani and Abdullah : India
India Sunday welcomed the power-sharing agreement between rival leaders Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, and assured that it has consistently supported inclusive governance, national unity, strong institutions, Constitutional order, rights of all sections of society and the territorial integrity of Afghanistan.
After months of a bitter dispute over the results of last year’s presidential election, Ghani will stay as the president according to the agreement, while Abdullah will helm the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) with executive authority and his team will have a 50 per cent share in the cabinet.
The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement, “India is concerned over continuing violence and terror attacks in Afghanistan and called for an immediate ceasefire as well as assistance to people reeling under the coronavirus pandemic.”
It added that India “hopes the political agreement and creation of the High Council of National Reconciliation will result in renewed efforts for establishing enduring peace and stability and putting an end to externally sponsored terrorism and violence.”
MEA: “India hopes the Political Agreement and creation of the High Council of National Reconciliation will result in renewed efforts for establishing enduring peace and stability and putting an end to externally sponsored terrorism and violence.”#Afghanistan @IndianExpress
— Shubhajit Roy (@ShubhajitRoy) May 17, 2020
The power-sharing agreement between Ghani and Abdullah came over two-and-half months after the US inked a peace deal with the Taliban, providing for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and effectively drawing curtains to Washington’s 18-year war in the country.
The HCNR has been mandated to lead future peace talks, including with the Taliban. Abdullah served as the chief executive in the previous government led by Ghani. Following the presidential elections, Ghani was declared the winner by Afghanistan’s Election Commission in September last year, but his challenger Abdullah refused to accept the results and proclaimed victory for himself.
India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. It has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan controlled.
India has also been maintaining that care should be taken to ensure that any such process does not lead to any “ungoverned spaces” where terrorists and their proxies can relocate.
Days before inking of the peace deal between the US and Taliban, India conveyed to the Trump administration that pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terror networks operating from its soil must be kept up.
(With inputs from PTI)
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