Taliban Aims to Foster Positive Ties with India In Various Fields
13:44 05.02.2024 (Updated: 13:58 05.02.2024)
© AP Photo / Altaf QadriA security officer walks outside the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.
© AP Photo / Altaf Qadri
The interim Afghan authorities have been urging the global community to grant them diplomatic recognition. This month, Chinese President Xi Jinping accepted credentials from a Taliban-appointed envoy.
The Taliban* government has called upon India to resume the bilateral relationship, amid a recent uptick in official-level contacts between the two countries.
"As an independent country we want to have positive bilateral relations with India in various fields which are of interest to both countries and people," Suhail Shaheen, the head of Taliban's Political Office in Doha, told Sputnik India.
Shaheen highlighted that people of India and Afghanistan have historically had better relations, expressing confidence that the two governments could normalise the relationship based on strong people-to-people links.
"We want to resume and improve them based on mutual interest," stated Shaheen.
The comments by the Taliban delegate come as New Delhi revealed last week that it took part in a regional meeting on Afghanistan in Kabul this month.
Addressing a regular media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesman Randhir Jaiswal said that New Delhi was represented by the head of its technical team in Kabul at the meeting.
"He apprised the meeting of India's longstanding friendship with the Afghan people and the humanitarian assistance that we are carrying out in the country. This particular meeting that we attended also should be seen in that particular context. That is where we are as far as our engagement with Afghanistan is concerned," Jaiswal told the press conference.
The Current State of India-Afghanistan Ties
Like most of the other nations, India recalled its Ambassador from Kabul in the wake of the Taliban storming back to power in the country in August 2021.
At the time, India was one of the biggest regional donors to Afghanistan with total aid amounting to nearly $3 billion.
Since then, New Delhi has maintained a technical team at its diplomatic mission in Kabul, which has been functioning with a reduced staff strength.
The Indian staff have primarily been involved in visa processing as well coordinating humanitarian supplies to Kabul from New Delhi.
While India is yet to recognise the Taliban government in Kabul, New Delhi has continued with its humanitarian assistance to the sanctions-affected nation.
According to MEA, New Delhi has supplied around 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan since 2021 in a bid to alleviate the hunger situation.
The Indian wheat has been distributed to the Afghan people by the World Food Programme (WFP).
*under UN sanctions