New Delhi: India on Wednesday reaffirmed the need for an inclusive negotiated political settlement to the Afghan crisis and said the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to the detriment of any other country.

In a virtual interactive session at an industry chamber, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said New Delhi is in touch with all countries concerned on the Afghan issue, noting that it will have to see how best to protect its interests and “make the best” of a difficult situation.

The foreign secretary said India has been “active” and “engaged” with the international community on the situation in Afghanistan to make sure that its larger interests are protected.

“We are in touch with all the countries concerned on this issue and we will have to see how best to protect our interests, make the best of a difficult situation,” the foreign secretary said.

“But I think, in many senses, we have been quite active and I would say, engaged on the international front to make sure that our larger interests are protected and we are not in any way vulnerable to the new strategic realities in this part of our region,” he added.

The interactive session was organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Shringla also mentioned the UN Security Council Resolution 2593 on Afghanistan and described it as a “seminal one”.

The foreign secretary also said that there was a need to provide humanitarian access to Afghanistan and that there should be no human rights abuses of women, children and minorities.

“The UN Security Council resolution 2593 which is even now a seminal resolution on Afghanistan because it lays the benchmarks of what the international community expects from Afghanistan and what are those requirements from the Taliban,” he said,

“One is an inclusive negotiated political settlement, the second is that its territory should not be used against the detriment of any other, the third is that they should provide humanitarian access, the fourth is that there should be no human rights abuses on women, children and minorities,” he added.

Shringla said these are the basic benchmarks that the international community would like to hold the current dispensation of Afghanistan accountable on.

“And this is something that we have to wait and watch,” he added.

The foreign secretary also mentioned the regional dialogue that India hosted recently on the Afghan situation.

India hosted a regional dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10 that was attended by NSAs of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The participating countries vowed to work towards ensuring that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for global terrorism and called for the formation of an “open and truly inclusive” government in Kabul with representation from all sections of Afghan society.

A declaration released at the end of the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan said Afghan territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts. 

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