Senior leader of Taliban Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai said that the outfit wants to continue Afghanistan's trade and economic and political relations with India and that the country is "very important for this subcontinent".
Stanekzai, deputy head of Taliban's office in Doha, in a 46-minute video address aired on Saturday, 28 August, said: "We attach great importance to our trade, economic and political relations with India and want to maintain that relation."
While describing the importance of India, he said that the outfit wants to maintain relations with the country "like in the past".
The Taliban leader was part of the training for Afghan army cadets at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun in the 1980s and had later quit the Afghan Army.
'Need to Keep India-Afghanistan Air Trade Open'
Further, referring to the air corridor between India and Afghanistan that was set up for encouraging trade between the two nations, he said, "We also need to keep the air trade open."
The corridor was established as Pakistan has always denied transit access between the two countries.
He added that trade between Afghanistan and India through Pakistan is "very important".
Regarding the formation of government in Kabul, he said that consultations were in process to form an "inclusive government".
"Currently, the Taliban leadership is consulting with different ethnic groups and political parties within the Islamic Emirate about forming a government that would be accepted both inside and outside Afghanistan and recognised," Afghanistan-based media outlet Tolo News quoted him as saying, PTI reported.
As the Taliban took control over Afghanistan, the Indian government has been prioritising evacuation of its citizens and monitoring further developments in Kabul.
(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express)