NEW DELHI: In what can be seen as the biggest hint that India is engaging with the Taliban, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that the group’s representatives are in Kabul and things should be taken as they come.
“We are looking at the evolving situation in Kabul... as Taliban and its representatives have come to Kabul and I think we need to take it from there,” he said and added that these are early days still. Jaishankar said New Delhi was following the events in Afghanistan very carefully and that the focus of the government was on ensuring the safety and security of Indians who are still stranded there.
Saying that India’s historical relationship with the Afghan people continues, the external affairs minister, who is on a four-day trip to the US, said that the focus of his engagements has been on the situation in Afghanistan.
“At the moment we are, like everybody else, very carefully following developments in Afghanistan. I think our focus is on ensuring the security in Afghanistan and the safe return of Indian nationals who are there,” he said while addressing reporters after chairing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session on UN Peacekeepers.
Jaishankar’s comment comes days after India evacuated its diplomatic staff, including its envoy to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon and around 100 ITBP personnel from the war-torn country. New Delhi has also launched a new emergency visa for Afghans seeking to come to India and also assured Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan of repatriation once commercial operations of flights begin.
Jaishankar arrived in New York on Monday for an emergency meeting of the UNSC on the situation in Afghanistan. India, currently a non-permanent member of the council, holds its presidency for August. Monday’s meeting was the second time in 10 days that the UN body met to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.