New Delhi, July 2 (Calcutta Tube) Amid Pakistan’s intensified efforts to influence evolving power-sharing negotiations in Afghanistan, India and Afghanistan Friday held wide-ranging talks, with New Delhi making clear its unease about accommodating hardcore Taliban and militant groups like the Haqqani network.
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao held delegation-level talks with visiting Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Eklil Ahmad Hamiki.
‘They also reviewed their development partnership and agreed to continue their consultations,’ said the external affairs ministry.
The Afghan side briefed on the fragile security situation in Afghanistan and conveyed to India to continue a host of reconstruction activities in the country, said sources.
The meeting, held as part of regular foreign office consultations between the two countries, acquired an added significance as it comes amid reports of a secret meeting between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Al Qaeda-linked militant commander Sirajuddin Haqqani. The meeting was allegedly arranged by Pakistan’s Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.
According to a report by Al-Jazeera, Karzai met Haqqani along with Kayani and ISI chief Ahmad Shuja Pasha in Kabul for ‘face-to-face talks’.
Both Kabul and Islamabad have vehemently denied these reports.
Kayani and Pasha, according to some reports, tried to influence Karzai to accommodate the Pakistan-backed Haqqani network which has targeted Indian assets in Afghanistan in the past.
India has conveyed to Afghanistan its concerns about any power-sharing deal with hardcore Taliban and groups like the Haqqani network which have a declared anti-India agenda, said the sources.