India’s Ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met a representative of the Taliban in Doha on Tuesday.
This was the first formal diplomatic contact with the Taliban since the group seized power in Afghanistan on August 15.
This occurred the day after the United States completed the withdrawal of its troops, ending its two-decade-long ‘War on Terror.’
The Ministry of External Affairs said Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern at the meeting that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner.
“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 to India also came up,” the statement said.
The MEA said the Taliban leader assured Mittal that these issues would be positively addressed.
“Today, Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the head of Taliban’s Political Office in Doha,” the MEA said in a release.
It said the meeting took place at the Embassy of India, Doha, at the request of the Taliban side.
Allaying India’s fears, the Taliban representative assured India that “these issues would be positively addressed.”
Reportedly, India had established informal contact with the Taliban in June this year. Stanekzai had also reached out to India informally last month, asking it not to shut down its embassy, according to reports.
Notably, during the Taliban’s previous rule, between 1996-2001, India had supported the Northern Alliance that was mounting resistance against the Taliban at the time.
Stay tuned with Artifex.News for further updates. Stay Connected, Stay Informed!
Image Credit: India Today