India to not hold discussions with Taliban representatives in Moscow: MEA source

New Delhi (India), Nov 9 (ANI): India will not hold any discussions with Talibanrepresentatives in the Moscow format meeting on Afghanistan on Friday, said a source in the Union External Affairs Ministry. The development comes moments after former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah slammed the Centre for taking part in the meet and not paying heed to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. The source further stated, "India will be joining the Afghan process of reconciliation at a non-official level and Taliban will be in the same room as a part of the process." On Friday, Abdullah pointed fingers at the government for not holding talks with the "non-official" dialogue with non-mainstream stakeholders to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir issue and was instead participating in the meeting which includes Talibanrepresentatives. On his Twitter handle, Abdullah stated, "If "non-official" participation in a dialogue that includes the Taliban is acceptable to the Modi government why not a "non-official" dialogue with non-mainstream stakeholders in J&K? Why not a "non-official" dialogue centred around J&K's eroded autonomy & its restoration?." Even his father Farooq Abdullah, chairman of Jammu & Kashmir National Conference trained guns at the Narendra Modi-led NDA government and stated that there was a dire need to hold a dialogue with the non-mainstream stakeholders in order to prevent further crumbling of democracy in the state. "Before further erosion of democracy in the state, one should immediately start a dialogue. It should be meaningful. It is the compulsion of the Centre to restore autonomy of the state. Unless they restore autonomy, to expect any forward movement from the people is unrealistic," Farooq said. On Thursday, MEA headed by Sushma Swaraj had confirmed the participation and said, "Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level." "India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability, and prosperity to the country. India's consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with the participation of the Government of Afghanistan," the MEA added.(ANI)

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