In news : Recently, Indian External Affairs Minister participated in the ninth Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) on Afghanistan in Dushanbe in Tajikistan
- The conference, being hosted in Tajikistan, is focused on strengthening a regional and international consensus for Afghan peace.
- India’s stand:
- Calling for a “double peace” both inside Afghanistan and in the region, External Affairs Minister said India supports the Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN), in a rare direct reference to the Taliban at the 9th Heart of Asia conference in Tajikistan.
- The Minister said that India has been supportive of all the efforts being made to accelerate the dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban, including intra-Afghan negotiations
- He added that if the peace process is to be successful, then it is necessary to ensure that the negotiating parties continue to engage in good faith, with a serious commitment towards reaching a political solution
- He attended the meet along with foreign ministers of 15 countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Central Asian states.
About Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process (HoA-IP)
- Formation: It was founded on November 2nd, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey
- It is a regional initiative of Afghanistan and the Republic of Turkey,
- Its motto is “İstanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable AfghanistaN”.
- The Heart of Asia provides a platform for sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region.
- This platform was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners.
- Composition: It comprises 15 participating countries, 17 supporting countries, and 12 supporting regional and international organizations. India is also part of it.
- Chair: Heart of Asia Istanbul Process, HoA IP, has two chairs, Permanent chair and a Co-chair. Afghanistan is the permanent chair. The co-chairing shifts among the member states. Each year one-member state volunteer to co-chair the process with Afghanistan.
The process has three main pillars stated as:
- The political consultation: It was created in recognition of the need to build and strengthen trust in the region.
- Confidence Building Measure (CBM): It provides a framework for a specific issue that is a regional priority, each CBM has a dedicated focal point responsible for the coordination of efforts towards reaching and adopting an Implementation Plan by the lead and supporting that specific CBM
- Cooperation with Regional Organizations: The heart of Asia – Istanbul Process emphasizes on creating synergy with other regional organizations and their efforts in the areas of security, economic cooperation and people – to – people relations