The ensuing onslaught by the Taliban in Afghanistan after failed peace talks with the government, along with the United States withdrawing its troops, has left a cloud of concerns of security in the region, which also concerns India. Appealing to the Indian government to help broker a deal between Afghanistan and Taliban, Afghan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay on Friday said that India can play a constructive role in bring peace back to the region.

“India has been a major partner. It can play a constructive role in our peace process, together with other regional actors. India can utilise its convening power to put more pressure on the Taliban through diplomatic channels to come to the negotiating table,” Mamundzay told news agency ANI.

Over 3,600 people have been killed in war-torn Afghanistan since April, civilians alone. Nearly 1,000 soldiers have been martyred, while over 3000 have been wounded. “So the cost that we pay with human lives is unparalleled,” the Afghan Ambassador said.

“Currently, we haven’t requested India to provide us any (military/air force) support. India has been generous by providing us 11 helicopters so far. I thank India for being very forthcoming and supporting our forces. We are concerned over the intensity of violence and we call on the Taliban that they need to cease violence since the withdrawal of international forces is complete to a larger extent. It’s time to put an end to the bloodshed of innocent people,” he said.

The Taliban today claimed that it now controls 85 per cent of the country’s territory as the terror group upped its offensive amid US’ withdrawal. Taliban negotiator Shahabuddin Delawar said at a press conference in Moscow today that “85 percent of Afghanistan’s territory” is under its control, along with around 250 of Afghanistan’s 398 districts.

“Our people are fighting hard we regained 10 districts in the last 3 days (from Taliban). We are not heading to a dark age. We need to remember that there were 40+ NATO member countries fighting a war on terror. After their withdrawal, this was expected that we would be going through a difficult period,” Mamundzay said.