Kabul [Afghanistan], February 9 (ANI): Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a terror-free region, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, on Tuesday, said that a sovereign and united Afghanistan is essential to South Asia's prosperity.
"A sovereign and united Afghanistan is essential to South Asia's prosperity, connectivity and stability," Ghani said while speaking at a video conference with PM Modi.
"Peace is the central desire of Afghan people and there is a consensus both nationally and within the state to seek peace but that peace must be a peace that ends violence and not becomes a preface in chapter to another tragedy. The tragedies of the past must serve as lessons to us so we do not repeat history," he added.
These remarks from the President came as India and Afghanistan on Tuesday signed an agreement to build the Shahtoot Dam in Kabul to provide drinking water facility in the Afghan capital.
Prime Minister Modi expressed deep concern over the increase in violence in Afghanistan, said, "I am concerned about the rise of violence in Afghanistan. The targeting of the civilians, journalists and workers by the terrorists is a cowardice action."
"We support an immediate stop to the war. Both India and Afghanistan want to see the region free of terrorism," he said.
Stressing on the friendship between the two countries, PM Modi said, "India has always supported Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-supported initiatives. Unified Afghanistan can fight any calamities. Succes of Afghanistan is the all-around success of India."
In a veiled attack on Pakistan for using the Taliban as a "tool" for its dominance in Afghanistan under the pretext of strategic depth, as said by former Pakistan senator Afrasiab Khattak, Ghani said that the world and all stakeholders to respect the rules of sovereignty and international relations.
"For a guarantee of a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, we must ask the world and all stakeholders to respect the rules of sovereignty and international relations. Stop giving sanctuaries and stop interfering in the affairs of their neighbours," the Afghan President said.
He added, "Peace in Afghanistan is within grasp if parties and their backers in the Taliban embrace a true political solution. Afghans will not submit to surrender and it must be understood that our heroic security forces are not defeated and neither we lost our will and capacity to serve our people."
The Pentagon announced in late January that it was reviewing the Doha deal on Afghanistan signed in February of last year. The deal requires the US to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan within 14 months in exchange for counterterrorism assurances from the Taliban. However, US officials have said the Taliban have failed to split from al-Qaeda (terrorist group) as required by the agreement.
According to Tolo News, officials in Washington said that President Joe Biden's administration is expected to review the US-Taliban peace agreement signed on February 29 in Doha.
The intra-Afghan peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban had resumed in January but no progress till now has been made. The talks were overshadowed by a series of disagreements and a surge in violence, including armed clashes and blasts across the country. (ANI)