‘Indian friends of Afghanistan’ appeals to Taliban for peace

The collective has as its members former Union finance minister Yashwant Singh, former Union minister Mani Shakar Aiyar, and several others.

Hyderabad: Indian friends of Afghanistan, a collective of 11 eminent Indians have appealed for solidarity with what the group refers to as ‘India’s civilizational neighbor’ and called for peace, national reconciliation, and national reconstruction.

In a press note issued by the group, they stated that the people of India stand alongside the people of Afghanistan in these difficult times as they seek to embark on a new road of hope. “The proud, patriotic, and brave people of Afghanistan have defeated every invading army and continue to fight forces of extremism and terrorism,” the collective stated.

The collective has among its members’ former Union finance minister Yashwant Singh, former Union minister Mani Shakar Aiyar, former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, and several other distinguished citizens of the Indian state.

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Further, they argued that freedom is an inalienable right of every nation — small or big, poor or rich and that sovereignty of every nation is inviolable, and forms the key principle of international law and the basis of global stability.

The group welcomed the complete withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. However, it remarked that the unplanned manner of the withdrawal created conditions of chaos which emboldened certain terrorist groups to kill innocent Afghans and foreigners.

Indian friends of Afghanistan strongly condemned the barbaric suicide attempts in Kabul on August 26, in which scores of Afghans and over a dozen American soldiers lost their lives. “We care for the security, wellbeing, and national aspirations of Afghan people because the millennia-old cultural relations between India and Afghanistan are deep and unbreakable,” the group stated.”

Finally, the collective appealed to the Taliban (which are in near-total control of the country) and other political forces to begin an intra-Afghan peace process leading to a democratic governing establishment. It also appealed to the Taliban to guarantee the safety and security of every Afghan citizen regardless of their ethnicity, ideology, gender, or past political background.

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