The report comes at a time when the US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has called on India to hold direct talks with the Taliban.(AP)
Pic Credit : hindustantimes

NEW DELHI: As it joins other stakeholders in pressing the Taliban for an inclusive government in Afghanistan, India is likely to host its own conference on the developing situation in the country next month. The government is in touch with Russia, China, US and several regional countries for the conference which is likely to take place here in the second week of November.

A final confirmation from the conference invitees is awaited. According to sources, India has proposed that the conference be held on November 10 or 11. While there are no plans yet to invite the Taliban for the conference, an invite to Pakistan is not ruled out.
ToI has also learnt that India had, in fact, planned a similar conference in May this year with the participation of the then Afghanistan government and also Pakistan but the Covid-19 second wave put paid to the plans. The situation is a lot more complex now of course with the Taliban having taken over the country.

The conference in India will follow the Moscow Format talks on October 20 for which Russia, like it has in the past, has also invited India. Just before the Moscow Format, Russia’s extended troika that includes US, China and Pakistan will also have a meeting.

The conference in India is likely to carry forward the agenda of the Moscow Format talks and will look to ensure a more inclusive government in Afghanistan while emphasising on the need for the Taliban to ensure that the Afghan territory is not used for cross-border terrorism. PM Narendra Modi has himself said that the government in Afghanistan is not inclusive and that the international community should not rush into recognising it. The conference will also provide India an opportunity to underline the significance of the August 30 UNSC 2593 resolution that the government believes should shape the world’s agenda in Afghanistan. Senior government officials are expected to participate in the meeting which will also underscore the need for Afghanistan to have unhindered access to humanitarian assistance.