Because it turned obvious earlier this week that New Delhi deliberate to deliver again its officers from Kabul, senior Taliban chief Sher Mohammed Abbas Stanekzai reached out to the Indian facet with a shock request: Would India retain its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan?
The request was conveyed informally by the Taliban chief, who’s a part of the management of the group’s political workplace at Doha in Qatar, shortly earlier than India evacuated some 200 individuals – together with its envoy, diplomats, safety personnel and residents–in two army flights on Monday and Tuesday.
Stanekzai, who’s seen because the quantity two within the Taliban’s negotiating workforce and third general amongst leaders primarily based in Qatar, has been important of India’s function in Afghanistan up to now, and the message took Indian officers in New Delhi and Kabul without warning, individuals accustomed to developments mentioned on situation of anonymity.
He conveyed to the Indian facet in his casual message that the group was conscious of Indian issues relating to the safety state of affairs in Kabul following the Taliban takeover on Sunday, however that it shouldn’t fear in regards to the security of its mission and diplomats within the Afghan capital, the individuals mentioned.
Additionally Learn | Taliban ask Afghan imams to urge people not to try to flee at Friday prayers
Extra particularly, Stanekzai referred to experiences that fighters from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) have been in Kabul and deployed at verify posts arrange by the Taliban on the path to the airport, and contended that every one verify posts, together with these on the airport, have been firmly within the arms of the Taliban, the individuals added.
A fast evaluation finished by the Indian facet and its Afghan counterparts got here to the conclusion that the request from the Taliban facet couldn’t be taken at face worth and that the evacuation of the Indian diplomats and others ought to go forward as deliberate, the individuals mentioned.
As reported by Hindustan Occasions on Tuesday, the evacuation was finished after the Indian facet obtained intelligence experiences that sure “rogue components” and members of LeT and Haqqani Community, each Pakistan-based terror teams, had entered Kabul with Taliban fighters who took over the capital following the collapse of the Ashraf Ghani authorities on Sunday.
Individuals accustomed to developments mentioned as soon as these experiences have been obtained, no possibilities might be taken with the protection of diplomats and different officers in Kabul as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given directions that the safety and return of the Indians was of paramount significance.
The event additionally displays the Taliban’s obvious efforts to achieve out to the worldwide neighborhood amid rising issues in regards to the group’s actions affecting safety and human rights in Afghanistan, and the Indian facet’s misgivings in regards to the Taliban regardless of opening channels of communication with the group in current months.
There was no quick response from Indian officers to the event.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has mentioned on Twitter that the group wouldn’t create a hindrance within the functioning of embassies and consulates. “We guarantee all diplomats, embassies, consulates, and charitable staff, whether or not they’re worldwide or nationwide that not solely no downside might be created for them on the a part of IEA however a safe setting might be offered to them, Inshallah,” he tweeted on August 16.
Hindustan Occasions was the primary to report on June 8 about India opening channels of communication with Taliban factions and leaders, together with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, towards the backdrop of the drawdown of US forces in Afghanistan.
In addition to exchanging messages with Baradar, the Indian facet has additionally been in contact with Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mullah Mohammed Fazil, the individuals mentioned. Each Khairkhwa and Fazil have been held on the US army jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba after their seize following the collapse of the earlier Taliban regime in 2001.
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, who served because the Taliban’s ambassador in Pakistan, had additionally informally suggested the Indian facet in Kabul relating to contacts with the Taliban, the individuals added.
Stanekzai, who trained for about 18 months at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun throughout 1982-83, when he was an officer within the Afghan Military, has emerged as a prime Taliban negotiator lately. He subsequently left the military to affix Pakistan-based mujahideen who opposed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
He created a flutter final yr by accusing India of playing a “negative role” in Afghanistan for the previous 40 years. If the Indian authorities reconsiders its coverage and desires an lively function in peace, reconciliation and reconstruction, the Taliban would welcome it and take a look at it positively, he had mentioned.