Two days after India’s envoy to Qatar held talks with a top Taloban leader in Doha , the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that New Delhi’s immediate focus is to ensure that Afghan soil is not used for terrorist activities directed against the country.
India had used the meeting in Doha to convey this concern, and to discuss the return of the Indians who still remain in Afghanistan, MEA official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday.
“We received a positive response,” Bagchi said, referring to the meeting between India’s Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal and the head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai.
New Delhi made this first official contact with the Taliban on Tuesday, hours after the last US military aircraft flew out of Kabul, marking the end of the 20-year war.
In response to a volley of questions on whether India would recognise the Taliban regime in the backdrop of the meeting, Bagchi said: “It was just a meeting. I think these are very early days.”
Asked if India would have more meetings with the Taliban, the spokesperson said he did not want to speculate. “I would not like to speculate on the future. I have no update to share on that,” he said.
On bringing back the remaining Indians from Afghanistan, Bagchi said India would be able to revisit the matter once the airport in Kabul resumes operations.
In a statement on the meeting in Doha, the MEA had said earlier this week that Mittal and Stanekzai had met at the Indian Embassy on the request of the Taliban side.