U.S. envoy meets Afghan president and former rival Abdullah in push for peace
Wednesday, 20 May 2020 The United States' special envoy for Afghanistan on Wednesday met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his former rival Abdullah Abdullah, to discuss progress towards a peace deal with the insurgent Taliban.
Considered as one of the most popular Muslim pilgrimage centres, the dargah of Ajmer Sharif houses the tomb of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, a holy saint who dedicated his entire life to the service of the poor and downtrodden. Today the dargah is visited by millions of devotees every year, irrespective of their caste and religion making it an epitome of communal harmony. Situated in the heart of Ajmer city in Rajasthan, at the foot of a barren hill, the Dargah of Ajmer Sharif is one of the most sanctified shrines in the country. Dedicated to the founder of Chishtiya order in India namely Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti or Garib Nawaz, the dargah is venerated by the people of all religious communities.The saint has millions of followers across the country belonging to different faiths, who visit the shrine every year and offer holy chadder and flowers to seek his blessings. Born in Chishti region of Afghanistan, the saint came to India in his process to teach mankind the high way of living and settled in Ajmer.His shrine was built by Mughals, which makes it a splendid piece of Mughal architecture that consists of various buildings, tombs, courtyards and Daalaans. Prayers in the form of Namaaz are offered everyday inside Mehfil-e Khana which is a spacious hall inside the dargah that was built by Nawab Bashir-ud-Dowla Sir Asmaan Jah of Hyderabad Deccan. The dargah is believed to fulfil the wishes of its devotees, who according to the tradition tie a religious thread along Jannati Darwaza, a beautiful gate covered with silver metal. People of all faiths regardless of their religion, creed, caste or gender visit the revered sight every year and offer their prayers to the holy saint. The glory of Ajmer Sharif has only increased with time and today it marks an important place in the history of Ajmer. Visited by the people from diverse faiths and communities, the dargah has been playing an important role in strengthening the secular thread of our country.
The Afghan leadership won’t have concerns if India decides to engage with the Taliban, though a final decision in this matter will is New Delhi’s prerogative, Afghan peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah said on Saturday. Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, is the senior-most Afghan leader to publicly speak on this issue which has been the subject of a debate within diplomatic and decision-making circles in New Delhi since last year. Following his meetings this week with India’s top leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, external affairs minister S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Abdullah said in an interview that he hadn’t discussed any “military role” for India in Afghanistan during his talks in New Delhi.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 15:18Published
While reacting on South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC's) revival and India-Pak resolving issues, the Chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah said, "More connected the region is, the more we will benefit. It's not for us to decide for any country, that's the accepted fact. Through more connectivity in region, all the countries will benefit." On being asked about Pak-based terror groups hijacking Afghan peace process, "It won't mean peace if we only have agreement with Taliban and other terror groups continue freelancing in Afghanistan." Abdullah Abdullah also talked about consequences if the US leaving Afghan peace process, "Premature withdrawal by the US from peace deal will leave a vacuum, which will have an impact on the security situation in Afghanistan. But it won't mean one side prevailing over another," said Abdullah.
Commenting on whether Afghanistan wants India to engage with Taliban, the Chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah said, "I didn't ask directly for engagement with Taliban but at the same time encouraged for engagement in the peace, it depends on the Indian government's decision to engage with Taliban. As a whole, India is supportive of the peace process which is important." "My take away from my interaction with PM Modi is that India wants Afghan-led negotiation and inclusive settlement acceptable to Afghans. A unified Afghanistan, which does not harbour terror groups," Abdullah Abdullah added.