First India-Taliban meet takes place in Doha, discussions held over safety of Indian nationals

In the first India-Taliban meet in Qatar’s Doha on Tuesday, Indian envoy Deepak Mittal held discussions with the head of Taliban’s political office Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai over the safety and early return of Indian nationals from

L: head of Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai and R: Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal

Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal (R) met head of Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai (L), in Doha on Tuesday.

Indian Ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met head of Taliban’s political office Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in Doha on Tuesday and held discussions on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan.

The meeting took place at the Embassy of India, Doha, on the request of the Taliban side, an official statement said.

“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 Indian ambassador raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner.

The Taliban representative assured the ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed, the statement added.

Taliban want ‘good ties’ with India
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told India Today on Monday that India is an important country in the region and the new regime in Afghanistan will not be a threat to them.

In an exclusive interview, Zabihullah Mujahid recounted India’s good relations with Afghanistan and said the new government formed under the Taliban would want good relations with India.

Asked about reports suggesting the Taliban siding with Pakistan against India, Zabihullah Mujahid said such reports were baseless. ” The Taliban won’t allow any other country to be endangered by us. We assure India that our side will not be a threat to them,” he said.

In a statement on August 26, Zabihullah Mujahid had said that the Taliban see Pakistan as their “second home”. “Afghanistan shares its borders with Pakistan. We are traditionally aligned when it comes to religion; the people of both countries mingle with each other. So we are looking forward to further deepening of ties with Pakistan,” Zabihullah Mujahid had said in an interview with Pakistan’s ARY News.

Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban want countries to have their embassies in Afghanistan. “The presence of ambassadors in Afghanistan is beneficial. We want all countries to have good relations with us,” he said.

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