India Must Work on a 'Common Strategy’ in Afghanistan: Germany on Delhi's Alleged Backing of Daesh
11:55 GMT 31.08.2021 (Updated: 18:01 GMT 08.12.2022)
© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberGerman Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020
© AP Photo / Markus Schreiber
India, which had been backing a democratic government in Afghanistan before the fall of Kabul to the Taliban*, is now following a "wait and watch" approach in the nation. One of Afghanistan's largest regional donors since 2001, the nation's takeover by the Taliban has led to India significantly scaling down its diplomatic presence.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday urged India to work on a "common strategy" with other regional nations on the security situation in Afghanistan.
The minister was responding to a question whether he would take up the issue of Delhi's alleged backing of Daesh-K* with other regional governments.
"For the broader region and also for India, it is important to discuss and develop a common strategy as far as developments in Afghanistan are concerned. We need international unity. We need to stand united. And the fact that the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution is an important step in that direction", said the top German diplomat.
Maas was addressing a press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad. He is on a five-nation visit to Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Qatar, as per the German Foreign Ministry.
As a neighbor, #Pakistan is directly affected by the crisis in #Afghanistan. Germany will continue to support the region. In addition to our financial commitments, we will pursue and implement specific projects, e.g. on border control. @HeikoMaas after talks in #Islamabad pic.twitter.com/oc0E7ybKBJ— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) August 31, 2021
The remarks come days after a suicide bombing at Kabul's international airport, claimed by Daesh-K, left 13 US troops and 169 Afghans dead.
Speaking about the question of India's purported backing of the group, Qureshi stated that he has been consistently warning the global community about the role of "spoilers" in the Afghan peace process.
"Beware. We have been constantly warning the international community about the roles of spoilers within and beyond Afghanistan. The international objective is peace and stability. The international community has to discern between those who are standing on the side of peace and stability and has to differentiate between those who, for self-interest, are taking steps that won't be helpful in promoting peace and stability", said Qureshi.
The Pakistani foreign minister added that he had been taking up the matter during his bilateral consultations with other governments.
Qureshi also blamed India for perpetrating a terrorist attack at a dam project in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in July, which left nine Chinese engineers dead.
He also said in June of this year that Islamabad has "irrefutable evidence" about India running nearly 66 terrorist training camps inside Afghanistan for Pakistan-focused violent jihadi groups such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).
In November of last year, Qureshi claimed that Indian agencies were also targeting infrastructure projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship initiative of the Beijing-backed One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.
In February of this year, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan accused Delhi of using Daesh (ISIS)* to incite unrest within the country.
"This is the unanimous opinion of our government and our security agencies that India is backing ISIS", Khan stated at the time.
Time and again, India has denied Pakistan's allegations of backing terrorist groups against Islamabad.
"India has been at the forefront of global efforts against terrorism in partnership with the international community, which is well aware of Pakistan's credentials when it comes to terrorism. Such desperate attempts by Pakistan at peddling lies and propaganda will therefore find few takers", Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on 13 August, while responding to Islamabad's allegations.
* The Taliban, Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/"Islamic State"), and Daesh-K are terrorist organisations banned in Russia and many other nations.