India Announces First Formal Meeting With Taliban

India’s ambassador to Qatar held talks with a prime Taliban chief on Tuesday, the Indian international ministry mentioned, the primary formal diplomatic engagement because the hardline Islamist group took over Afghanistan.

The envoy, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the pinnacle of the Taliban’s Political Office in Doha, on the request of the Taliban, the international ministry mentioned.

India has lengthy had issues concerning the Taliban due to the group’s shut ties to arch rival Pakistan. The international ministry mentioned the 2 sides mentioned the security of Indians left behind in Afghanistan.

Mittal additionally conveyed India’s fears that anti-India militants may use Afghanistan’s soil to mount assaults, the international ministry mentioned.

“The Taliban representative assured the ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed,” the international ministry mentioned.

The talks come days after Stanekzai was quoted within the native press as saying that the Taliban wished political and financial ties with India.

There was no speedy remark from the Taliban on the talks with the Indians.

India invested greater than $3 billion in improvement work in Afghanistan and had constructed shut ties with the U.S.-backed Kabul authorities. But with the speedy advance of the Taliban, the Indian authorities was going through criticism at residence for not opening a channel of communication to the militants.

In June, casual contacts had been established with Taliban political leaders in Doha, authorities sources mentioned. The large worry is that militant teams preventing Indian rule in Muslim-majority Kashmir will turn into emboldened with the victory of the Taliban over international forces, one of many sources mentioned.

“Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner,” the international ministry mentioned.

When the Taliban had been final in energy from 1996-2001, India together with Russia and Iran supported the Northern Alliance that pursued armed resistance in opposition to them.

Stanekzai, who Indian officers say obtained coaching in an Indian navy academy as an Afghan officer within the Eighties, had informally reached out to India final month, asking it to not shut down its embassy, the supply mentioned.


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