Indian ambassador to Qatar meets Taliban representative Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai in Qatar today.
This is the first time India openly acknowledges meeting with Taliban leaders and the meeting between Indian ambassador Deepak Mittal, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s Political Office in Doha, took place at the Indian Embassy at the request of the Taliban side, according to the ministry.
Points raised for concern were the safety, security, and speedy return of Indian nationals from Afghanistan who were stranded in the country and the safe travel of Afghan minorities in particular who wish to visit India.
During the meeting, India signaled concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner after US-led foreign troops have completely drawn out from Afghanistan.
The Taliban representative assured the ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed,” the foreign ministry said.
This is the first time India has acknowledged a formal meeting with the Taliban since Kabul fell to the group on August 15.
The talks come days after Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the current head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha was quoted in the local press as saying that the Taliban wanted political and economic ties with India.
There was no direct comment from the Taliban on the talks with the Indians.
In terms of investments, since 2001, India has invested around $3 billion (Rs 224 crore) in Afghanistan’s infrastructure, which includes over 400 projects across all regions in the country. Thus India has spent too much in Afghanistan to allow the Taliban to hold fort under the sway of America.