‘India, Pak. can help resolve Afghan conflict’

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Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev speaking at an event in New Delhi on Monday. | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

India should cooperate with Pakistan to ensure regional stability and to end the Afghan war, said the Ambassador of Russia on Monday. Speaking at a public event here, Nikolay Kudashev said that India-Pakistan collaboration will help in resolving the decades-old conflict in Afghanistan.

“The problems of Afghanistan are impossible to resolve without taking on board every neighboring country. Excessive pressure on certain states would just antagonise them and make numerous problems even more complicated… this logic also guides us to further develop ties with Pakistan and it is in the interest of regional stability to help Pakistanis as well as Indians effectively adjust themselves to the new forms of cooperation offered by SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and enhance their anti-terrorism cooperation,” said Mr. Kudashev elaborating on Russia’s engagement of Pakistan.

In a set of frank observations at an event organised by the Anant Aspen Centre, the envoy urged India to cooperate with Pakistan in the platforms that various multilateral bodies are providing.

New-found bonhomie

Moscow and Pakistan dealt with a difficult phase during the 1980s when Pakistan supported the Mujahideen fighters to counter Soviet occupation forces. However, he cooperation took off in the last few years with joint counter-terror drills between two sides that India has observed with concern. The envoy clarified that Moscow does not prioritize  bilateral disputes in South Asia while framing policies.

“We don’t look at the region from the point of view of bilateral disputes that we are not in a position to interfere or take sides. There should be realistic and comprehensive approach to the issues of common interest,” said the envoy highlighting the need for peace between India and Pakistan.

“No doubt that existing disagreements between India and Pakistan should be resolved politically and diplomatically according to the provisions of the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the 1999 Lahore Declaration,” Mr. Kudashev said.

He said that Russia is open to a relationship with all sides for the sake of regional stability and the crisis in Afghanistan requires the “Afghan-led” solution.

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