NEW DHELI - Burhanudin Rabbani Chairman of the High Peace Council negotiating with Taliban, on Wednesday said
that 'India is an important country in the region and we want its cooperation in peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan'.
Rabbani arrived here on a two-day visit along with the sixteen-member delegation, mostly the members of high peace council.
Rabbani led delegation includes Minister Masoom Stanekzai, CEO of High Peace Council Secretariat, High Peace Council spokesperson Maulvi Qiamudin Kashaf and women member of the council Sheila Samimi. The group also includes senior Pashtun, Hazara and Uzbek leaders.
According to diplomatic sources: "Leaders of High Peace Council during the two-day visit would listen and share India's experience in reconciliation and peace efforts, which India has applied in Northeast and Kashmir."
"Senior clerics see India as a model of democratic multi ethnic character and mosaic of different cultures similar to Afghanistan and they are very keen to understand and learn from the Indian system," the source added.
The 68-member High Peace Council is dominated by former jihadi leaders, ex-Taliban officials, tribal elders and government officials. Rabbani led delegation would also inform Indian leadership about the efforts the High Peace Council has been making to broker peace in the war torn country where draw down of foreign forces is underway.
The peace council members had recently met with members of the Quetta Shura in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and are holding talks with important Taliban leaders.
The visit by members of the High Peace Council to India assumes significance as New Delhi has initially opposed dialogue with fringe Taliban elements.
India, however, later endorsed the red lines determined at the last year's London
Conference. India believes that reconciliation process should be Afghan led and Afghan owned, and only those elements should be taken onboard who abjure violence and adopt the Afghan constitution.
Afghan delegation will call on the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna during their visit.
According to diplomatic sources, the group will also have an interaction at the defense think tank Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA). The Afghan delegation will also offer prayers at Delhi's famous Jama Masjid. (ANI)