Doha: In what could be termed as its first official outreach, Indian Ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal held talks with one of the most influential Taliban leaders Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in Doha today.
According to sources, Mittal and Stanekzai dwelled upon various issues including the early and safe return of stranded Indians in Afghanistan. The meeting holds significance in the wake of Stanekzai’s earlier overtures to have friendly economic ties with India amid Pakistan’s desperate efforts to earn recognition for the Islamist group.
ANI quotes union ministry of external affairs as saying, “Mittal 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.”
Stanekzai has also clarified that no anti-India activities will be allowed on the Afghan soil. Stanekzai’s statement sends positive vibes but it remains to be seen how India reciprocates.
So far over 800 Indians and Afghans have been evacuated from the strife-torn Afghanistan that still stares down the barrel with stability a far cry.