External Affairs Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, attended the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
- He called for a “double peace” which means peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan and also said India supports the Intra-Afghan Negotiations.
- Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process
- It was founded in November in the year 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
- Heart of Asia Summit provides a platform for sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region.
- It was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners.
- Heart of Asia comprises 15 participating countries, 17 supporting countries, and 12 supporting regional and international organizations.
- India is a participating country.
- Since its inception the process has become a cardinal element in regional cooperation and has created a platform for Afghanistan’s near and extended neighbors, international supporters and organizations to engage in constructive dialogue and to address the existing and emerging regional challenges through regional cooperation with Afghanistan at its core.
- Intra-Afghan Negotiations
- It refers to the talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban insurgents with the goal of bringing an end to nearly 20 years of a conflict that has laid waste to the country and killed 10 thousand of combatants and civilians.
- The participants of intra-Afghan negotiations will discuss the date and modalities of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, including agreement over the future political roadmap of Afghanistan.
- The negotiations will cover a variety of issues, including the rights of women, free speech, and changes to the country’s constitution.
- The talks would also lay out the fate of tens of thousands of Taliban fighters as well as the heavily armed militias belonging to Afghanistan’s warlords who have amassed wealth and power since the Taliban were ousted from power in the year 2001.
- Regional Connectivity Initiatives
- During the conference, the Afghanistan President appreciated the number of regional connectivity initiatives including the Chabahar port project, as well as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (this is also known as TAPI Pipeline).
- India’s Stace
- India believes any peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, has to respect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and preserve the progress made in the establishment of a Democracy in Afghanistan (democratic Islamic Republic in Afghanistan).
- The interests of minorities, women and vulnerable sections of society in the country must be preserved and the issue of violence and its neighbourhood has to be effectively addressed.
About TAPI Pipeline
- It is also known as Peace pipeline. It is a 1814 kilometer long natural gas pipeline that begins from Turkmenistan and passes through Afghanistan and Pakistan to reach India.
- Peace pipeline aims to monetise Turkmenistan’s gas reserves and supply them to neighbouring countries to promote the use of natural gas and improve energy security.
- This project is being developed by TAPI Pipeline Company, a consortium established by 4-individual state-owned gas companies Turkmengaz (Turkmenistan), Afghan Gas (Afghanistan), Interstate Gas Service (Pakistan), and Gas Authority of India (GAI) and Indian Oil Ltd (India).
- These countries signed an Inter Government Agreement and Gas Pipeline Framework Agreements in December 2010 for the development of the TAPI pipeline.
Jaishankar attend Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Jaishankar attend Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process