US State Secretary Mr. John Kerry arrived in India to chair the fourth round of Indo-US strategic dialogue, much of which will be focused on Afghanistan.
The talks are aimed at easing Indian concerns, and in making them a stakeholder in Afghanistan peace process, particularly the upcoming elections.
“The world’s largest democracy can play a central role in helping the Government of Afghanistan improve its electoral system and create a credible and independent framework for resolving disputes,” Kerry said in his hour-long speech on Sunday.
Recently, Afghan President Mr. Hamid Karzai dimmed the peace prospects, after he suspended security negotiations with the United States due to a Taliban sign declaring their new office space in Doha the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.”.
India issued a statement on Friday, strongly supporting Kabul position on Taliban negotiations.
Sources suggests that the US had also assured India, that it would not hold talks with the Haqqani network, the deadliest outfit which attacked the Indian embassy in Kabul and is known to have close ties with the Pakistan Army.
Taliban are angry
Angry voices within the Taliban movement have already started to emerge.
In an interview to Associated Press, Mr. Shaheen Suhail, the Taliban spokesman in Qatar said,” There is an internal discussion right now and much anger about it but we have not yet decided what action to take, but I think it weakens the process from the very beginning.”
Mr. Sohail also said that the Taliban have met with representatives of various countries and held secret meetings with members of Karzai’s High Peace Council many times, under the same banner of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The United States – Taliban talks that were supposed to begin last week stalled after Mr. Karzai’s objection. The flag has been removed, but the Taliban did not respond to United States offer for rescheduling the meeting to Sunday.