November 2020 \ Interviews \ COVER STORY—INDIA AND AFGHANISTAN
“Afghans appreciate India’s stance in supporting their cause”

In this interview with India Empire Magazine’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty, Mr Tahir Qadiry, Chargé D’ Affaires, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in India and Co-Chairperson IAF (India-Afghanistan Foundation), speaks on wide-ranging issues, including a subject that has the entire world’s attention—the peace process in Afghanistan and the dialogue that started with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar ...

Normally, Afghanistan’s National Day celebrations are well-known in New Delhi. This year, given the pandemic situation and social distancing, how are you planning to celebrate National Day?

In fact we celebrated it in a COVID-free atmosphere, we invited only 50 people. We were the first country to celebrate a public, national day party post Covid time in Delhi. We appreciated the presence of Joint Secretary JP Singh, Ambassador Amar Sinha, Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhya, few other ambassadors and a few other friends of Afghanistan. Right after that Saudi Arabia followed suit. They told us that in a way we were the first ones to break the ice. All safety protocols were in place, of course.

Last year you mentioned that Afghans have drawn up red lines. A consultative peace assembly attended by over 3,000 people from across all walks was held in Afghanistan. What has been the progress in terms of where the region is headed when it comes to the question of people, minds and goods flowing effortlessly…

As a result of that, what the Afghan Government thought was that we cannot rush to bring peace in Afghanistan. The fighting has been there for years and years and you cannot bring peace overnight. So the Afghan Government worked in a few phases. First of all they consulted with people, scholars, Mullahs, politicians and people from different walks of society to bring about a national consensus.