India calls for immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan

New Delhi fears that instability in Afghanistan could spill over into IIOJK


Reuters April 16, 2021
Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. PHOTO: ANI

India on Friday called for a ceasefire in Afghanistan and said it was deeply concerned about targeted killings of people in that country.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesperson said that India had noted the US decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and end military operations there.

New Delhi’s big worry is that instability in Afghanistan could spill over into Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

"We are deeply concerned about the increase in violence and targeted killings in Afghanistan. India has called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire," the foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

 

A day earlier, Chief of the Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said that India is concerned about a vacuum developing in Afghanistan following the proposed withdrawal of United States and NATO forces from the country.

He told a security conference that the worry was “disruptors” would step into the space created by the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.

He declined to name the countries that could act as spoilers.

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that US troops would withdraw from Afghanistan starting on May 1 to end America’s longest war, rejecting calls for them to stay to ensure a peaceful resolution to that nation’s grinding internal conflict.

“Our concern is that the vacuum that will be created by the withdrawal of the United States and NATO should not create space for disruptors,” Rawat said.

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