KABUL (Pajhwok): Acting Defence Minister has expressed optimism regarding the establishment of cordial relationship with India and other countries in the region.
In an exclusive interview with Indian TV Channel News 18, Mulalh Yaqoub said: “I am positive about this aspect and we always want to have these relations with India. This is the policy of the Islamic Emirate, to have cordial and neutral relations with all countries. Similarly, we want to have amicable ties with India and there is no problem.”
He added: “My view is that we should have cordial relations with India. We welcome India by keeping our doors open for them. We hope that India will also take initiatives and strengthen the relationship with us.”
He was also positive regarding humanitarian support provided by India after the regime change last year in Afghanistan.
“We have great expectations as India has provided much assistance in the past to Afghanistan. When our government was formed, India also provided humanitarian aid and assisted us, which is exemplary.”
“We appreciate and convey our gratitude for the support provided by India and we hope that India will continue its assistance to the people of Afghanistan.”
When asked about defence relationship with Indian, Mullah Yaqoub said: “Yes, we want such a relationship with all countries and also want this relationship with India. But, before the beginning of defence relations, the first requisite is to have good diplomatic relations and take it forward.”
“When we will together have cordial political and diplomatic relations, then only we would be ready for defence relations. Neither there will be any problem with it nor do we see any issue with it.”
Referring to Afghan military personnel of the past government currently Indian, he said: “We have taken many steps in this regard and have called upon, invited and requested all those Afghans who went to foreign countries.”
“Many of them returned and are working here with their duties. Those men who remained here, we are aware of this and call upon them to return. It is Afghan tradition not to desert anyone and we are pledged to this.”
When asked about Durand Line disputes with Pakistan, he said. “Our relations with Pakistan on the Durand Line and on a regional basis are political in nature. Inshallah, our relations are good and there are no major issues between us.”
“On the issue of boundaries, I would mention that both countries are separate and issues are bound to come up as is evident with other countries. However, these incidents are not serious enough to cause a disruption in our relations.”
“We have made efforts to resolve the issues which come up between us through talks. There are no major issues between us. On the matter of the Indian embassy, we request that they should come and open their embassy and send an ambassador here and agree to have our ambassador in India so that diplomatic relations could begin, which will also set the ground for defence and other relations.”
“They must open their embassy here. We assure that India, similar to other countries, can come here and open their embassies for which the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan can and will safeguard and provide security to them.”