New Delhi (Sputnik): In recent days, the peace process in Afghanistan has witnessed some hopeful moments. Last week's conference in Moscow was attended by delegations from 12 countries as well as the Afghan Taliban and representatives of Afghan Peace Council, initiating the creation of an environment conducive for direct dialogue between the government, the Taliban, and other social and political circles of the country. India also participated in the Moscow format talks, though unofficially, in what can be seen as a clear departure from its long-held stance that the Afghan peace process should be Afghan-led. In this backdrop, Sputnik spoke to K P Fabian, a retired officer of the Indian Foreign Service. He was Ambassador to Italy and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. His book 'Commonsense on War on Iraq' was published in 2003 and was popular with readers especially interested in West Asian studies.
K P Fabian: Moscow has taken a constructive step in arranging for the talks.
It is incumbent on responsible leadership to replace civil war with frank and open talks between the warring parties in the presence of outside powers who either seek a cease-fire followed by political negotiations or have been supplying fuel to the conflict.
The powers that may fall into either of the two categories mentioned.
Sputnik: What is your opinion on India participating in the talks in a clear departure from its conventional position on Taliban. Do you see a more active role for India in the future?
It would have been better if India had actively participated. Indian policymakers have for a long-held to the erroneous position that the US will successfully fight the Taliban and make them surrender. India is slowly waking up to ground realities.
Sputnik: The Taliban seems to be adamant on its position that US troops must withdraw first for the talks to be productive. What is your view on the future of the Afghan peace talks?
K P Fabian: The Taliban will continue to insist and the US will withdraw.
In fact, the US has started to withdraw mentally. It will be good for Afghanistan, the region, and the US if its military withdraws completely as early as possible.
The goal should be to induct the Taliban into a democratic process, however difficult the prospects of democracy might appear.
The views and opinions expressed by in this article are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.