In news : Recently, Russia stated that India can eventually join Afghan peace plan
What is Afghan peace plan/process?
It comprises proposals and negotiations in a bid to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan(between Taliban and the government).
Countries involved in the peace process are:
As per the media reports, Russia, China, US,India, Pakistan and Iran are at the table of the Afghanistan peace process
- Russia said that India plays a “very important role” in Afghanistan, and its “eventual deeper involvement” in dedicated dialogue formats is “natural”.
- Russia’s statement pointed out that India can “eventually” join, which Delhi views as a sort of delaying the inevitable. Washington recognised the urgency of including India at the table
- Prior to Russia, USA had suggested to include India on the table
USA’s draft peace Plan
It sets forth principles for governance, security, and rule of law and presents options for power sharing that could help the two sides reach a political settlement that ends the war
Following are the some of the important elements of the plan:
- Cease-fire: The new peace plan offers a chance for a cease-fire, it offers a chance to bring the Taliban from the battlefield to the talks table to discuss thorny issues of religion and its role in (the state),” without giving them all the power
- Peace government: The plan proposes the establishment of a “peace government” that would oversee the writing of a new constitution and elections held immediately afterward
- Protection of Islamic values: The plan also promises to protect Islamic values and while an independent judiciary would have the ultimate authority, the High Council for Islamic Jurisprudence would have an advisory role.
- US troops to stay: Joe Biden’s peace plan has kept open the possibility that the 2500-odd US troops, currently deployed in Afghanistan, might stay on for a while. Under the agreement with the Taliban, the US had promised to withdraw all troops by May 1 this year.
- Immediate agreement to reduce violence: US is pressing the Taliban to accept an immediate agreement to reduce violence for 90 days that will provide the space for the peace initiative
- Inclusive interim government: The plan says that the US is not “dictating terms” to the Afghan parties, but facilitating the movement towards an inclusive interim government, an agreement on the “foundational principles” for a new political order, and a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”
- Role of Turkey:US is asking Turkey to convene a meeting of the government in Kabul and the Taliban to finalise a peace settlement.
Role of UN & Unified approach: US is asking the United Nations to convene a meeting of the foreign ministers from China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States to develop a “unified approach” to peace in Afghanistan
India and Afghanistan
- India and Afghanistan have been historical neighbours, and share cultural ties.
- India was the only South Asian country to recognize the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s, though relations were diminished during the 1990s Afghan civil war and the Taliban government.
- Following the withdrawal of the Soviet armed forces from Afghanistan in 1989, India continued to support Najibullah’s government with humanitarian aid.
India’s role in Peace plan
- As a good neighbor of Afghanistan, India will take a strong interest in the ambitious new US framework.
- New Delhi, for long on the sidelines, reached out to all key players in Afghanistan and other countries to make its way to the negotiating table
- As a part of the Peace Plan, New Delhi hopes to have a role in setting the terms especially concerning terrorism, violence, women’s rights and democratic values.
- India’s refrain has been that it wants an Afghan-led, Afghan-controlled and Afghan-owned process but ground realities have been such that other players have dictated terms.
- India’s diplomatic spadework included talks during the visits to India by former Afghan vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum in September last year; and by former Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah (now chair of High Peace Council) and Afghan leader Ata Mohammad Noor in October.