Indian envoy’s talk with Taliban to ensure Afghan soil isn’t used for terrorism: MEA

Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal recently met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of Taliban’s political office in Doha

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, however, didn’t give a clear answer to queries whether India would recognise the Taliban.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said that the Indian envoy’s talk with Taliban in Doha centred round ensuring that Afghanistan is not used to harbour terrorist activities against India.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India also discussed the return of its nationals stranded in Afghanistan and has received “positive response”.

Bagchi said India would attempt evacuations once operations resume at Kabul airport.

Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal recently met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of Taliban’s political office in Doha.

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The meeting came hours after the US officially withdrew all its troops from Afghanistan, ending its 20-year-war.

Bagchi, however, didn’t give a clear answer to queries whether India would recognise the Taliban.

“It was just a meeting. I think these are very early days,” he said.

He also refrained from speculating whether India would hold more talks with the Taliban.

“I would not like to speculate on the future. I have no update to share on that,” he was quoted as saying.

Announcing Mittal’s meeting with Stanekzai reportedly on the request of the Taliban, the MEA in a statement had said, “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.”

“Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner. The Taliban representative assured the ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed,” the statement said.

The Taliban which seized power in Kabul on August 15, after the fall of the Ashraf Ghani government, is all set to form government on Friday.

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