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India's Envoy Meets Taliban's Political Officer in Doha, Flags Concerns

The Taliban representative, according to the MEA, assured that the raised “issues would be positively addressed”.

Updated
India
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Taliban fighters at a checkpoint in Kabul, Afghanistan. Image used for representational purposes.</p></div>
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India’s Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal on Tuesday, 31 August, met the Head of Taliban’s political office in Doha Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai.

The meeting took place at the Indian Embassy in Doha. As per the Ministry of External Affairs, it was held on the request of the Taliban.

The Ministry, in its press release, also said: “Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner.”

Further, the discussions focussed on safety, security, and the early return of Indians stranded in Afghanistan. The travel arrangements of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit to India is also said to have come up.

Meanwhile, the Taliban representative, according to the MEA, assured that “these issues would be positively addressed”.

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What Foreign Secretary Shringla Said

Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, had earlier on Monday, 30 August, chaired a Security Council meeting, in which the 15-nation council had adopted a resolution that "reaffirms the importance of upholding human rights including those of women, children, and minorities," news agency PTI reported.

Later, speaking to reporters present at the meeting in New York, Shringla emphasised that UNSC resolution of Afghanistan also highlights the importance of upholding human rights particularly in case of women, children, and minorities. Shringla also said:

"India has always provided a very strong support to minority communities in Afghanistan, in particular, the Sikh and Hindu minority. It is an important part of our effort to try and bring those Afghan nationals, including minorities, who want to leave Afghanistan and evacuate them."
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary of India

PTI has also reported, with reference to an all-party meeting by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, that India was earlier engaged with "important stakeholders in Afghanistan", and had adopted a "wait and watch" approach.

US Exits Afghanistan

The last of US troops took off from Afghanistan on Tuesday, 31 August, ending the 20-year war in the country.

Addressing the media from the Kabul airport on Tuesday, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said, “We do not have any doubt that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a free and sovereign nation. America has been defeated… and on behalf of my nation, we want to have good relations with the rest of the world,” Al Jazeera reported.

(With inputs from PTI)

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