New Delhi’s view also has been that Pakistan has played a “Destabilising” role in Afghanistan

New Delhi: Following the jibe last week by US President Donald Trump on India’s development efforts in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed to the US President on phone earlier this week that India’s development efforts in the strife-torn country is an important part of the peace and reconciliation efforts in that country, top government sources have said.

Sources said PM Modi had conveyed directly during the phone call to President Trump the importance of India’s development efforts in improving the lives of the Afghan people.

Meanwhile, the MEA on Friday — when asked about India’s position on the Pakistan-backed Afghan Taliban — said New Delhi has always stood for an “inclusive” Afghan peace process which is Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled.

New Delhi is backing the Afghan government which is in favour of peace talks with the Taliban. However, New Delhi’s position has been that it does not want to engage directly with the Taliban.

New Delhi’s view also has been that Pakistan has played a “Destabilising” role in Afghanistan.

The MEA was asked about India’s position following the recent comments of Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat who had supported talks (by concerned parties) with the Taliban but without any preconditions.

It may also be recalled that PM Modi and President Trump had spoken on phone earlier this week and had discussed a range of issues which included strengthening coordination in Afghanistan. The US plans to withdraw thousands of its troops from that country.

Just last week, President Trump, in a controversial remark, had said, “I get along very well with India and PM Modi. But he’s constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan. That’s like five hours of what we spend. And he tells us and he’s very smart, and we’re supposed to say—oh! thank you for the library. I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan. ... I don’t like being taken advantage of.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday that US "Special Representative for Afghanistan" Zalmay Khalilzad had met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in New Delhi during his recent visit and had briefed them on American efforts to bring about peace in the troubled nation. However, the MEA Spokesperson refused to divulge the details of the discussions between Mr. Khalilzad and Ms. Swaraj.