The Taliban has been conducting talks with the U.S.-appointed peace negotiator while a direct dialogue between Kabul and Taliban is yet to begin.
“I hope the day comes and the Afghan government and the Taliban talk with each other about reaching a peace deal,” said Mr. Karzai. Mr. Karzai, who served as the first post-Taliban government of Afghanistan till 2014, is one of the leading Afghan figures participating in the Raisina Dialogue. The other participant is Dr. Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Advisor of the government in Kabul. India has maintained that a dialogue for peace will have to follow the model of “Afghan owned and Afghan led and Afghan controlled”.
The U.S.-Taliban peace negotiation is at a critical juncture as the Taliban has not moved ahead on responding to the American proposals and the comments from Mr. Karzai could work in favour of creating an environment for including the government in Kabul.
The Raisina Dialogue’s inaugural session was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar who sat among the audience while Mr. Karzai spoke about the possibilities of peace. The inaugural session also included former Prime Ministers Stephen Harper (Canada), Anders Vogh Rasmussen (Denmark), Carl Boldt (Sweden), Helen Clark (New Zealand), Tshering Tobgay (Bhutan) and Han Seung-soo (South Korea).
Apart from the regional conflict, air pollution and climate emergency also featured in the opening session. Mr. Tobgay emphasised his country’s commitment to controlling climate change.
“Air pollution is a global issue. Everything done to curb it directly feeds into climate change mitigation and enhances the quality of human capital,” said