As the chair of this committee, India will be able to monitor the conduct of Taliban leaders, some of whom are based out of Pakistan and backed by Pakistan

The Unites States’ recommendation to include India in the United Nations-led six-party platform on Afghanistan is based on the fact that New Delhi will play a critical role in the landlocked country as head of the Taliban sanctions committee, or the 1988 sanctions committee, in the UN Security Council.

The decision to include India as the chair of this important sanctions committee in the UN significantly shaped the move to have India at the Afghan high table along with the United States, Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan, ET has learnt from highly placed sources.

As the chair of this committee, India will be able to monitor the conduct of Taliban leaders, some of whom are based out of Pakistan and backed by Pakistan.

India’s inclusion on the high table proves that New Delhi has an important role to play in Afghanistan, the sources added.

Over the past year, India - besides engaging big players and regional actors on Afghanistan - has hosted several Afghan leaders, signalling the role New Delhi can play in stabilising the landlocked nation, according to the sources.

The Taliban sanctions committee – also called the 1988 sanctions committee as it was formed through resolution number 1988 in 2011 by splitting the 1267 sanctions regime on al-Qaeda – follows high levels of violence in Afghanistan orchestrated by the Taliban.

“The Taliban sanctions committee… has always been a high priority for India, keeping in mind our strong interest and commitment to peace, security, development and progress of Afghanistan,” India's permanent envoy to the UN, TS Tirumurti, said in his message after India was made the chair of 1988 sanctions committee.

Without naming Pakistan, Trimurti stated, “Our chairing this committee at this juncture will help keep the focus on the presence of terrorists and their sponsors threatening the peace process in Afghanistan. It has been our view that peace process and violence cannot go hand in hand.”

After a visit to Pakistan by a Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar a few months ago, videos had emerged of the group’s leaders visiting terror training camps on Pakistani soil and meeting injured fighters at a hospital in Karachi.

One of the videos showed Baradar – the group’s main negotiator at the peace talks in Doha – telling Taliban members in Karachi that the group makes all decisions related to the peace talks after consulting its leadership and the clerics’ council based in Pakistan.

The United States has proposed to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani a UN-convened meeting of representatives of six countries, including India, to discuss a “unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan”.

The UN has been asked to convene a meeting of foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States.

In his letter to Ghani, US Secretary of State Anthony J Blinken said Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the US “share an abiding common interest in a stable Afghanistan” and thus these countries “must work together” in order to “succeed”.