Sher Mohammad Stanikzai is reportedly going to be sworn in as the Taliban foreign minister in this regime and likely a potential candidate for a reason. Often referred as ‘Sheru’; he has early roots with India and it is a well known fact that he was a gentleman cadet in the Indian Military Academy in 1982. He later went to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet war for his country. Due to the Taliban’s friendship with Pakistan and claiming it as their second home, speculation rose on Taliban’s relations with India. Recently in an interview Sheru opened up on his view.
Taliban Keen To Have Friendship With India
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, speaking from Doha, said the Taliban is keen to foster friendly relations with India, the clearest sign yet that the new Taliban rulers are keen to engage positively with the Indian government.Here are some excerpts from the interview.
How do you see the Taliban administration’s view towards India?
Our foreign policy is to have good relations with all our neighbouring countries and the whole world. The American forces were in Afghanistan for the last 20 years and after which they withdrew. We will have friendly relations with America after this and NATO. So, I think they should come back and take part in the rehabilitation of Afghanistan. Same goes for India. We want to continue friendly cultural and economic relations with them. Not only with India, all our neighbouring countries, including Tajikistan, Iran and Pakistan.
There is a fear that Taliban may be hostile towards India, they may team up with Pakistan and target India. How do you see this assessment? Is this correct or wrong?
What comes up in the media is most often wrong, there is no such statement or indication from our side. We want good relations with all our neighbouring countries.
There is a fear that Afghanistan could become a sanctuary for terror groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, which are a threat to India. What are your comments on that?
There was no threat from Afghanistan to any of our neighbours, including India throughout our history and it will not happen at all. There is no doubt that there is a long political and geographical dispute between India and Pakistan. We hope they do not use Afghanistan in their internal fight, they have a long border, they can fight amongst themselves on the border.
There are many Hindus and Sikh who are still in Afghanistan. Will you help India to evacuate them?
I think there is no requirement to evacuate them. Afghanistan is their home land and country so they can live peacefully and there will be no harm to their lives.