India and the US are for a negotiated and political settlement in Afghanistan

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that India and the United States agreed that there wouldn't be a takeover of the war-torn country by use of force.

This was discussed in a meeting held with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday.

EAM Jaishankar stated that during his discussion with Blinken at the press conference, he put forth India's stand on the Afghanistan issue.

He also informed that both sides agreed to a negotiated and political settlement in Afghanistan.

He told the Upper House that India is very clear that there must be a negotiated political settlement in Afghanistan, that there cannot be a military solution, there cannot be a takeover by use of force in Afghanistan, that India will work with the international community to ensure that political negotiations for a settlement are pursued seriously and we would never accept any outcome which is decided by force.

He said, “We (Indian leadership) highlighted that in our approach to global issues were guided by a quest for perfect union but we seek to right historical wrongs. When it comes to freedom, we shouldn't treat it as non-governance or abdication of responsibilities. Our conversation on this should be balanced.”

Blinken, during his two-day India visit, discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues including Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific and COVID-19 cooperation.

During Blinken's visit, Jaishankar said he articulated India's position at a presser that was jointly held with the US Secretary of State. "We were very clear that there must be a negotiated, political settlement in Afghanistan."

Among other things that Jaishankar and Blinken discussed include Indo-Pacific, India-US cooperation against COVID-19 and Quad. He had further added that the Quad is a collaborative platform essential for mutual interest.

Jaishankar had also asserted that the US and India should work together more closely on key contemporary challenges like terrorism.

“We also discussed Indo-Pacific and Quad as it is in our national interests," Jaishankar told the Rajya Sabha.

"We look at Quad as a platform where the four countries have come together for the good of the world. We discussed a range of issues including providing of vaccines, education, connectivity, maritime security," he added