PM Modi, Afghan president Ghani discuss evolving security situation in Afghanistan2 min read . Updated: 03 Aug 2020, 07:52 PM IST
- The two leaders also exchanged Eid–ul–Adha greetings, the statement said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani discussed the evolving security situation in Afghanistan and the wider region besides other subjects of mutual interest in a telephone call on Monday, a government statement said.
The two leaders also exchanged Eid–ul–Adha greetings, the statement said.
President Ghani thanked Prime Minister Modi for timely supply of food and medical assistance to meet Afghan requirement.
Modi reiterated India's commitment to the people of Afghanistan in their quest for a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Afghanistan, the PMO statement said.
“HE President @ashrafghani in a telephonic conversation with HE PM @narendramodi exchanged greetings on the joyous festival of #EidAlAdha & also discussed the evolving security situation in the region and other areas of bilateral interests," Tahir Qadiry, Afghan charge d’ affaires in New Delhi said in a Twitter post.
The phone call took place amid reports that Afghan forces had retaken a prison in the country's east, a day after the Islamic State terrorist group attacked the facility in which at least 29 people were killed.
The telephone conversation also came as a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban announced by the latter on the occasion of Eid came to an end. The Afghan government has released hundreds of Taliban fighters in a bid to the group to the talks table as per an agreement signed in February. President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have both indicated that long-delayed negotiations could begin straight after Eid, news reports from Kabul said.
Under the peace deal signed in February between the US and the Taliban, the "intra-Afghan" talks were slated to start in March, but have been delayed amid political infighting in Kabul and the contentious prisoner swap condition put forth by the Taliban. Under the terms of the deal, the Kabul government was to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners in return for 1,000 Afghan security personnel held captive by the Taliban. According to news reports, the Ghani government has so far released some 4,900 prisoners. On Friday, Ghani was quoted as saying that he had "no authority" under the country's constitution to release the remaining prisoners as they were involved in serious crimes. He had added he would soon call a consultative Loya Jirga - a traditional grand assembly of Afghan elders - to decide their fate.
On its part, the Taliban says it has freed all 1,000 Afghan prisoners it had pledged to release in a deal with the US, fulfilling their side of the exchange.
But according to the Afghan government, there has been no let up in the violence in Afghanistan since the US-Taliban deal was agreed, with more than 3,500 Afghan troops killed in attacks by armed fighters.
New Delhi which has pledged more than $ 3 billion in aid in reconstruction since 2001 when the US-led coalition dislodged Taliban from Kabul is keen to see an India friendly administration in Afghanistan that is not inimical to its interests. New Delhi is wary that a Taliban government in Kabul will tilt towards Pakistan, which is seen as supporting the group with finances, training and safe havens.