C: https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/

India had its first formal diplomatic talk with the Taliban on Tuesday. It is their first official talk since the militant group has seized its power in Afghanistan. The Indian foreign ministry said Deepak Mittal, the ambassador of India, met the head of Taliban’s political office Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, in Qatar. Taliban has requested a meeting that took place at the Indian embassy of Doha.

The two discussed the safety, security, and easy return of Indian nationals, stranded in Afghanistan. Also, they talked about the struggle prospects of Afghan minorities who want to visit India.

The Indian ambassador raised concern for New Delhi as Afghanistan is serving as the base of terrorism. The Taliban representative assured of addressing all these prospects. Indian media reported that StaniKazi said that the Taliban wanted to continue with the political, economic, and cultural ties with India. It was the first time for a Taliban member to speak about the future of relations between these two countries.

Their return to power will impact the neighbors of the country. Amidst the rising concerns for regional instability, the country is becoming a core of terrorist activities. New Delhi did not have any kind of diplomatic relation with the Taliban when they had their power in 1990.

But India has opted for close ties with the US-backed civilian government in Kabul. India made investments worth $3 billion in various infrastructure and trade projects. It has undertaken 400 projects in Afghanistan.

This meeting was a necessity that gets the impact from the evolving political realities in Afghanistan, said Harsh Pant, the head of the strategic studies program.

“There is a practical necessity of engaging with the Taliban given that it would be one of the most — if not the most — an important political stakeholder in Afghanistan,” Pant told CNBC. “Outreach at lower levels had already begun, but this is the first official, explicitly stated Indian outreach to the Taliban.”

India made efforts to engage with the Taliban in June. China stopped its diplomatic efforts to engage with this Islamist group.

Pant said, “If eventually, the Taliban succeed in bringing together an inclusive government, with various stakeholders, then there is no reason why India would not move forward with a new momentum in its engagement.”

Credits: CNBC

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