Regional stability: Kerry seeks Indian role in Afghan polls

India desperate to avoid return of the Taliban once US troops leave.


Afp June 24, 2013
John Kerry. PHOTO: FILE

NEW DEHLI:


US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday urged a greater role for India on Afghanistan as he sought to revive stuttering cooperation between the world’s two largest democracies.


On his first visit to India as the top US diplomat, Kerry firmly supported an involvement in Afghanistan for India, which is desperate to avoid a return of the Taliban once US troops leave but whose aid and diplomacy are viewed with suspicion by mutual neighbour Pakistan.

Kerry said that India had a “central role” in ensuring free elections due in April next year in Afghanistan. A week after a false start in US dialogue with the Taliban, Kerry acknowledged that a final settlement “may be long in coming”.

“We should and must work together to support an inclusive, legitimate democratic process that helps the Afghan people unify around a new leader who will build on the economic and social gains achieved under President (Hamid) Karzai,” Kerry said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2013.

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