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India says Afghanistan's future cannot be its past as Taliban captures border crossing Pakistan

Reminding the Taliban that seizure of power by violence and force will not legitimise such actions, the External Affairs Minister said peace negotiations in earnest is the only way forward. 

India says Afghanistan future cannot be its past as Taliban captures border crossing Pakistan-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Jul 14, 2021, 6:05 PM IST
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India on Wednesday reminded the global community that the future of Afghanistan could not be its past.

Taking part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers' contact group meeting on Afghanistan at Dushanbe, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the world, region and the Afghan people all want an independent, peaceful, unified, neutral, democratic and prosperous nation. 

Calling for ceasing attacks against civilians and state representatives, Jaishankar said that the stakeholders should settle the conflict through political dialogue, and respect the interests of all ethnic groups, and ensure that neighbours are not threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Reminding the Taliban that seizure of power by violence and force will not legitimise such actions, the External Affairs Minister said peace negotiations in earnest is the only way forward. 

"An acceptable compromise that reflects Doha process, Moscow format and Istanbul process are essential. The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past. A whole new generation has different expectations. We should not let them down.," he said.

Taliban claims control of Afghan border crossing with Pakistan

Taliban on Wednesday claimed to have captured the strategic border crossing of Spin Boldak along the frontier with Pakistan as part of their increasing offensives across the country since foreign forces left the country. 

Even though the interior ministry said the attack had been fought off, and the government forces had control, the Taliban's white flag was reported to have been flying over the town by a Pakistan security source. 

There was no confirmation, but social media was flooded with pictures of Taliban fighters who looked relaxed in the frontier town. If the Taliban's claim holds true, the occupation of the crossing would be the latest in a string of seizures of ports and crossing by the Taliban with the aim of cutting off the revenue that would go to the government and pocketing it. 

The alleged seizure comes after days of heavy fighting across the Kandahar province, where the government was forced to deploy commando fighters in order to battle the insurgents. 

Insurgent spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told traders and residents that their security is guaranteed, with Afghan officials insisting they had control. 

Interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said, "The terrorist Taliban had some movements near the border area...The security forces have repelled the attack." 

The border crossing is one of the most strategically valuable for both sides as it provides access to Pakistan's Balochistan province, where the terrorist group's leadership is based and so are their reserve fighters who can enter Afghanistan easily. 

A highway from the border reaches Karachi and its port on the Arabian Sea, which is crucial for Afghanistan's billion-dollar heroin trade which provides a critical source of revenue for the Taliban. 

As most US and NATO troops have left the country and the final few are on their way, the terrorist group has upped their attacks and occupied much of the country, and the government now holds only a few provincial capitals that can only be supplied by air. 

The increasing offensives have been though to overwhelm the Afghan forces; Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that in fending off the Taliban is up to the country's leaders and not dependent on what the United States does, "They know what they need to do," said Kirby.

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