The world has been looking closer at Afghanistan after it was seized by Taliban on August 15th and the militant group began their administration. India was amongst one of those countries which has been silent for a few days to decide whether to support the group or reject its legitimacy. However recently the Indian government opened about their first formal meeting with the Taliban in Doha, where they discussed the issues closely.
India’s First Meet With Taliban
Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal, representing the Indian MEA, met with the head of the Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, on Tuesday. This meeting shows that the Government of India has softened its stance on the Taliban.
Indian envoy in Doha- Ambassador Deepak Mittal
While Indian security officials and diplomats are understood to have engaged with Taliban representatives for several months, this is the first time the government has publicly acknowledged such a meeting which, the MEA said, came at the request of the Taliban. Officials said that the request came as Taliban leaders have been keen to receive some “acceptability”, and that India remains “cautious” about its approach to the group.
Afghanistan Should Not Administer Anti-Indian Activities
The ministry of external affairs released an official statement which quoted; “Discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan. The travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit India also came up”.
Mittal , the Indian ambassador strictly advised the the Taliban counterpart that; “Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner.” Reacting to the above statement Taliban assured the Indian side that they will defray from such illegal activities and won’t advocate any such practises from any other countries as well. Taliban also asked Mittal to stay connected with Taliban and resume the Indian activities in Afghanistan, Sheru asked the Indian side to sustain all the trade related activities and development projects in their country.
About 140 Indians and members of the Sikh minority still remain in Kabul, and need to be brought back. India has thus far transported 565 people, including 112 Afghan nationals to Delhi. The numbers have been far lower than other countries like the U.S., which has evacuated 1,22,000 people, including more than 1,00,000 Afghan nationals. Well this seems a bright ray of hope for the Indian side, but time will decide whether it’s a truce or a trap ?