The Financial Express

India expresses concern over situation in Afghanistan

| Updated: September 12, 2021 18:17:23

India expresses concern over situation in Afghanistan

India Saturday made it clear that the situation in Afghanistan is of concern after Foreign Minister S Jaishankar held talks with his Aussie counterpart in the Australia 2+2 dialogue in Delhi.

"We had a detailed exchange of views on Afghanistan with Australia. The views of the two countries are very similar and can be summed up by United National Security Council Resolution 2593, which emphasises that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used in any manner by anybody for terrorism," the Indian Foreign Minister said.

Without naming the Taliban, Jaishankar said that "there is also a concern about the inclusive of the dispensation, concerns about the treatment of women and minorities, matters related to travel of Afghans, issues regarding humanitarian assistance". "So, it is an evolving situation."

His Australian counterpart Marise Payne also highlighted the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. "It is being seriously watched by the international community. For 20 years, we have worked for the people of Afghanistan," the minister said.

The meet comes barely three days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks on "regional stability" with visiting Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in the national capital.

"Was happy to meet Mr Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia. His visit allowed useful discussions between both sides on important regional developments," Modi tweeted that day.

In a statement, the Russian Embassy in Delhi also said that the two sides reaffirmed their intention to strengthen coordination in the field of enhancing the regional stability, including on the Afghan direction, reports UNB.

India was among several countries that evacuated their diplomatic staff from Kabul when the Taliban took over the Afghan capital on August 15.

However, two weeks later, India began direct communication with the Taliban, with the country's envoy in Qatar Deepak Mittal holding talks with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban's Political Office in the Gulf state.

At the meeting, Ambassador Mittal raised India's concern that Afghanistan's soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner, to which Stanekzai assured him that these issues would be positively addressed, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan on August 15, with the American troops ending their 20-year military presence in the South Asian country.

India is particularly worried about the implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, given it has already infused over $3.0 billion worth of development aid into that country and the horrific memories of the Taliban's role in the hijacking of an Indian airliner in 1999.

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