- The team, led by chief negotiator Abdul Salam Rahim, “arrived in Abu Dhabi to begin proximity dialogue with the Taliban delegation and to prepare for a face-to-face meeting between the two sides”.
- The 12-person team was first announced in November by President Ashraf Ghani as part of a diplomatic effort to bring the Taliban to the table for peace talks with the government in Kabul.
- The Taliban is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan which is at present waging war within that country.
- It was founded in 1994 and from 1996 to 2001; it was governing the country enforcing a strict interpretation of Islamic or Sharia law.
- Many leading Muslims as well as much of the international community were highly critical of the Taliban government and ways.
- Taliban then ruled it after 1996 as a totalitarian regime till it was removed by NATO-led coalition in 2001 forming a new democratically elected government political structure.
- Hamid Karzai became the first ever democratically elected head of state in 2004 and the current President is Ashraf Ghani, since 29 September 2014.
- Even after formation of a democratically elected government and removal of Taliban from power in Afghanistan, it still faces several internal issues and multipronged attacks by groups like Taliban and ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
- Taliban still controls very large parts of Afghanistan and insurgency and terrorist forces are still strong in the nation. The control of government is limited only to urban areas and highways.
- US led NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) forces have been in Afghanistan in the longest conflict engagement since World War II. They are trying to establish a Government in Afghanistan to a substantial extent and there is a ‘Rule of Law’.
Role of India in Afghanistan
- India has focused on development of infrastructure and military aid in Afghanistan. India has aided the overthrow of Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan.
- India wants to improve transport connectivity and economic collaboration with countries in Central and South Asia. India has invested billions of dollars in Afghanistan and has worked on projects like Salma Dam.
- India is also investing in the expansion of Chabahar port in Southeastern Iran, which will improve its connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Source: The Hindu