The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested that India should also engage with the Taliban group besides the existing engagement on government-to-government level with Afghanistan.

Karzai has made the remarks during an exclusive interview with India’s The Hindu newspaper.

“India can play a role at different levels at the same time. We understand its position to engage with the government of the day in Kabul. But India is also a friend of the Afghan people, and the Taliban are part of the Afghan people. They are a part of the reality,” Karzai has said.

He also added “My proposal to India is that they must engage with the Taliban, as well as the government. Tomorrow if through a peace deal, the Taliban becomes a part of the government, then India will have to deal with them.”

The former President has also said “Our expectation is that India should always have its own policy towards Afghanistan, not as a part of anyone else’s. The United States has suddenly begun to speak of peace and reconciliation efforts and the need to engage with the Taliban and re-engage with Pakistan.”

India is one of the key stakeholders in rehabilitation of Afghanistan and has invested more than two billion Dollars in key reconstruction projects in the country since the fall of Taliban regime.