India should be party to talks with Taliban: MoU between NDS and ISI no longer stands: Karzai


The memorandum of understanding between the Afghan intelligence service (NDS) and Pakistan’s ISI no longer stands. Speaking to a small group of journalists during his recent visit here, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai said, “No, the MoU does not stand. We (President Ashraf Ghani and I) had a conversation on that which I hope will bear fruit. It’s something Afghan people have rejected, because it is against Afghan interests.”

Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah will be visiting India on September 17 for talks with the Indian government at a time when Afghanistan-Pakistan ties have hit another low point. Karzai said he hoped Prime Minister Narendra Modi would travel to Kabul to inaugurate the new parliament building constructed by India. Indian sources said in the past 15 months, since the Modi government took office, there had been six summit level meetings between Modi and Karzai followed by Ghani. Ghani also held long discussions with NSA Ajit Doval, foreign secretary S Jaishankar and deputy NSA Arvind Gupta.

Asked whether India had been unfair with the new government in Kabul, Karzai parried, but urged India to engage more deeply with the Ghani government. “The two countries are intrinsically linked due to common security interests,” he said. India, he added, was forthcoming with education and development assistance but “hesitant” on security assistance. In fact, he said India should “seek” to be present in the room during the peace talks with the Taliban. “India, Iran and Russia should all be present,” he said.


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