US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Taliban advances in Afghanistan deeply troubling, 'doesn't speak well' about their intentions: Blinken

ANI | Updated: Jul 28, 2021 17:07 IST

New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI): Terming Taliban advances in Afghanistan district centres "deeply troubling", US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said there are reports that the terror group is committing atrocities, which certainly "doesn't speak well about their intention" for the war-torn country.
Addressing a press conference with Indian counterpart S Jaishankar, Blinken endorsed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afganistan and urged the Afghan government and Taliban to come to the table for negotiation.
"The Taliban is making advances in district centres, there are reports of them committing atrocities in Afghanistan. It's deeply troubling. It certainly doesn't speak well about their intention for the country. We remain engaged in Afghanistan," Blinken said.
Blinken, who is on a two-day visit to India, discussed a wide range of issues including the Afghanistan security situation with Jaishankar.
Blinken said there is only one path and that is at the negotiation table to resolve the conflict peacefully.
"The Taliban says that it seeks international recognition, that it wants international support for Afghanistan, presumably, it wants its leaders to travel freely in the world & sanctions lifted, etc. Taking over the country by force and abusing the rights of the people is not the path to achieve those objectives. There is only one path and that is at the negotiation table to resolve the conflict peacefully," Blinken added.
His remarks come as Taliban-led violence has increased in Afghanistan as foreign troops are withdrawing from the war-torn country.
Taliban has escalated its offensive against security forces and civilians. They are rapidly gaining territory in Afghanistan.
Moreover, they are imposing archaic rules on the captured territories and being a Sunni outfit, the Shias fear sectarian violence against them.
India's External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar also shared his view about Afghanistan. He underlined the importance of peace negotiations in Afghanistan and spoke against the unilateral "imposition of will" in the war-torn country while calling for preserving the gains made over the past two decades.
Jaishankar said: "The gains to Afghan civil society, especially rights of women, minorities and social freedom -- over the last two decades are self-evident. Afghanistan must never be home to terrorism, nor become a source of refugees."
The minister said it is essential that "peace negotiations are taken seriously by all parties".
"The world wishes to see an independent, sovereign, and democratic Afghanistan, at peace with itself and its neighbours. But its independence and governance will only be ensured if it is free from malign influences," he added. (ANI)