Indian Envoy to Qatar Meets Top Taliban Leader; Safe Return of Stranded Indians, Terrorism Topped Agenda


The Taliban once again assured India that its concerns regarding “anti-Indian” activities and terrorism would all be positively addressed, at a meeting between the two parties at the request of the Taliban on Tuesday. Ambassador of India to Qatar Deepak Mittal met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the head of the military group’s political office in Doha, at the Indian embassy there.

According to press statement from the ministry of external affairs, the two discussed safety, security and the early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan. Mittal also spoke about travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wished to visit to India.

He, however, raised India’s concerns that “Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism” in any manner, the press release stated.

To this, Stanikzai assured the ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed. After reaching out to India to retain its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan recently, the Taliban leader has also highlighted political, economic and cultural ties with India and expressed an interest in maintaining them.

In an exclusive interview to CNN-News18 a few days ago, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen also talked about India’s investments in Afghanistan and said India should be allowed to complete under-development projects. Over the past 20 years, India has invested $3 billion in development projects, offered scholarships to Afghan students, and helped construct the parliament building at a cost of $90 million.

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