press trust of india
NEW DELHI, 27 JUNE: Any improvement of ties between New Delhi and Islamabad will automatically improve the situation in Afghanistan, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador, James Dobbins said today.
Mr Dobbins, who arrived here to brief Indian officials on the proposed talks with Taliban as part of stabilising war-torn Afghanistan, also said that there is no prospect of any agreement with Taliban unless they decide on severing ties with all terror groups, including the Al Qaida.
“We certainly agree that there is no prospect of improvement in any relationship with Taliban or any agreement with Taliban unless they assure terrorism is…addressed,” the US diplomat said, adding that Taliban has to do much more before an agreement is reached.
“In an agreement, they need to improve on cessation of hostilities, respectfully attend the Constitution and go about severing of all ties with the Al Qaida and similar terrorist organisations,” Mr Dobbins (afp photo) said.
“Any improvement in Indo-Pak ties will almost automatically improve the Afghanistan situation,” he said. Mr Dobbins added that he had gathered an impression during his two meetings with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that “improvement in relationship with India is very high on his (Sharif’s) list of priority.”
The US ambassador, who met foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai yesterday, will meet his Indian counterpart SK Lambah today. The visit comes a day after US secretary of state John Kerry’s three-day official visit for the India-US Strategic Dialogue.
During the dialogue, Mr Kerry had assured India that its concerns over Taliban insurgents gaining legitimacy without severing their terror links will not be “overlooked or undermined” during the talks with the Islamic fundamentalist group.