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No Power Sharing Agreement With Taliban: Holbrooke Told India

PTI 03 Dec 2010, 10:05:20 IST
Washington, Dec 3 (PTI) Addressing New Delhi's concerns about peace talks with Taliban, US told India that it will not let the rebels enter a power sharing agreement in Afghanistan, according to leaked US cables by Wikileaks.

While the US special envoy for Af-Pak region Richard Holbrooke insisted that India is not his area during a meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao in January this year, Rao accompanied by top Indian diplomats sought US pressure on Pakistan to break its ties with terrorist groups and to permit Afghanistan's economic links with India to grow.

"During the meeting Holbrooke said that some of the anxiety stems from confusion between reintegration and reconciliation," the cable said.

The special envoy said the reintegration program is not a political negotiation designed to give Taliban elements a share of power.

"The US cannot be a party to any such arrangement, in his view, because the Taliban is allied with the Al Qaeda and the social programs of the Taliban are unpalatable," he said.

Holbrooke also said the Taliban leadership appears to have no interest in talking to the international community in Afghanistan.

"Rao said India needs some deliverables on terrorism before it can engage bilaterally with Pakistan," the cable said.

The United States has termed the release of these secret documents as illegal and an act of crime. At the same time, the US has neither denied or confirmed the authenticity of each of these cable, which is said to number more than 250,000.

According to the cable, Rao readily agreed to Holbrooke's request for a briefing on Indian training for Afghan security personnel, emphasising that this engagement is completely transparent.

She supported her argument by noting that India had previously provided a detailed briefing on this at the US-India Defence Policy Group meetings.

"We have nothing to hide," she said.

"Holbrooke assured Rao that he is in favour of Indian assistance programs in Afghanistan and is not influenced by what he hears in Islamabad," the cable said.