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Indian workforce to go to Kabul for first time in Taliban area

A visiting workforce led by senior diplomat J.P. Singh held talks in Kabul on Thursday with senior Taliban leaders

New Delhi: In a serious step by New Delhi aimed toward partaking with the Taliban regime which is in energy in Afghanistan and containing Pakistan’s affect there, a visiting workforce led by senior diplomat J.P. Singh held talks in Kabul on Thursday with senior Taliban leaders, together with the regime’s “international minister”, Amir Khan Muttaqi. The workforce headed by Mr Singh, who’s joint secretary PAI (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran) within the MEA, will “oversee the supply operations of Indian humanitarian help to Afghanistan”, New Delhi introduced on Thursday. Images of the go to confirmed Mr Muttaqi and different senior Taliban officers taking notes throughout a gathering with Mr Singh.

New Delhi can also be understood to have conveyed to the Taliban through the assembly that Afghan soil shouldn’t be used for terrorism towards India by Pakistan-linked terror teams such because the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. The workforce will even meet representatives of worldwide organisations that are concerned within the distribution of the Indian humanitarian help, that features up to now 20,000 metric tonnes (MT) of wheat, other than vaccines, medicines and winter clothes. The workforce will even go to different locations outdoors Kabul “the place Indian programmes and tasks are being carried out”. India doesn’t formally recognise the Taliban regime.


That is the first-ever talks between India and the Taliban which have taken place in Kabul for the reason that Taliban seized energy in August final yr, although India had engaged final yr with Taliban leaders in Qatar’s capital Doha in addition to in Moscow on a number of events. Given the delicate nature of the go to and the Afghan safety state of affairs, the MEA declined to say what number of members the workforce includes, the variety of days of the go to or which different locations particularly outdoors Kabul they are going to go to. However pictures confirmed Mr Singh had visited the Chimtala electrical energy sub-station near Kabul that was constructed by India.

The transfer has additionally triggered hypothesis on whether or not India is planning to as soon as once more submit Indian diplomats again at its embassy and different missions in Afghanistan to renew full-fledged functioning, one thing that the Taliban has been very eager on. It could be recalled all Indian diplomats posted in Afghanistan had returned to New Delhi in August 2021 when Kabul had fallen to the Taliban. When requested about this at his weekly briefing on Thursday night, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi cautioned towards “studying an excessive amount of into the go to”, however identified that native Afghan employees have been purposeful within the Indian diplomatic missions in Afghanistan to make sure its maintenance and upkeep even after the return of Indian diplomats from there in August, and that the Indian missions in Afghanistan had by no means been utterly closed down.


It’s understood that at this stage that there isn’t any plan for recognition of the Taliban because the Afghan authorities by India. New Delhi continues to recognise the Afghan diplomats in New Delhi led by Afghan ambassador Farid Mamundzay, who’re the representatives of the erstwhile Afghan authorities headed by then-President Ashraf Ghani who fled the nation when the Taliban took over. Whereas the Taliban’s march to energy final yr was backed by Pakistan, tensions have arisen between the Taliban and Islamabad prior to now few months attributable to steady assaults on Pakistani troopers by terror group TTP from Afghan soil.

It could be recalled that India had already begun the method of sending a complete of fifty,000 metric tonnes to Afghanistan as humanitarian help through the land route that passes through Pakistan, a gesture that has earned it super goodwill amongst each the Afghan individuals and the Taliban. India has already despatched a number of shipments of humanitarian help consisting of 20,000 MTs of wheat, 13 tons of medicines, 5 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines and winter clothes. Earlier than the Taliban took over energy final yr, India had dedicated humanitarian and growth help of over $3 billion (over Rs 20,000 crores) to Afghanistan, below which greater than 500 infrastructure and growth tasks have been undertaken since 2001.  


In a press release on Thursday, the MEA mentioned: “A workforce led by Joint Secretary (PAI), Ministry of Exterior Affairs, is at the moment on a go to to Kabul to supervise the supply operations of our humanitarian help to Afghanistan.

In the course of the go to, the workforce will meet representatives of the worldwide organisations concerned in distribution of the humanitarian help. As well as, the workforce is anticipated to go to locations the place Indian programmes/ tasks are being carried out. The Indian workforce will meet the senior members of the Taliban, and maintain discussions on India’s humanitarian help to the individuals of Afghanistan.”



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