India has welcomed the understanding reached between the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani; for a ceasefire in Afghanistan for three days on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. The Press Release from the Ministry of External Affairs stated that; “India hopes that this ceasefire would extend further and become permanent; to address the dreadful humanitarian situation resulting from the coronavirus pandemic; and pave the way for durable peace and stability for the people of Afghanistan. India stands with the people of Afghanistan in their quest for enduring peace, security, sovereignty, and prosperity.”
Moreover, Ghani announced that as a goodwill gesture; his government will release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners for the ceasefire; and move forward in the peace process.
The Doha Agreement
The violence in Afghanistan has significantly increased since the US and the Taliban signed the ‘Doha Agreement’ in February. The agreement for peace has ironically increased the violence in the country. The agreement, for the USA, was a way to get the US soldiers out of Afghanistan; while for Taliban it was an opportunity to get rid of foreign forces and a step forward towards legit control over the country. Since late 2001, US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan. The Doha Agreement is titled as the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan”; whereas the Taliban head, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, described it as the “Termination of Occupation Agreement.”
India for Peace in Afghanistan
India is a supporter of the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. It advised leaders of different nations to work together for the shared objectives of peace and nation-building. However, India didn’t play any role in the deal; as Pakistan prevented India from the discussion, which was accepted by the US. Notably, Pakistan wants a Taliban-led government in Kabul; to limit India’s presence in Afghanistan and make it a base for jihadi groups to target India. Of course, the world is concerned about Pakistan’s support to the Taliban and other Afghan terror groups operating in the country.
Meanwhile, the Taliban had also called for a ceasefire during Eid in June 2018.