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India Willing To Seek Peace With Taliban

PTI 31 Jan 2010, 8:59:48 AM IST

India is willing to back efforts to seek peace with Taliban to stabilise Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said, indicating a softening of stand towards a group known to be close to Pakistan.

“We are willing to give it a try,” Krishna told  in an interview to an Indian newspaper.

“If the Taliban meets the three conditions put forward — acceptance of the Afghan constitution, severing connections with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups and renunciation of violence, and are accepted in the mainstream of Afghan politics and society, we could do business.”

“The international community has come out with a proposition to bring into the political mainstream those willing to function within the Afghan system,” he said.

The newspaper quoted Krishna as saying the Taliban “should be given a second chance” and that military action was not the only way to counter their activity.

While accepting the reality of the new plan on the Taliban, Krishna made clear the Indian discomfort with the group, saying its fundamental assessment of the Taliban remained unchanged.