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Friday, June 21, 2024

Ashok Swain questions why India not talking with Pakistan

Ashok Swain has questioned why India cannot talk to Pakistan if they can talk to Taliban after India held its first formal meeting with the Taliban on Tuesday.

India held a meeting with a Taliban leader in Doha on Tuesday. Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the Head of Taliban’s Political Office at the Embassy of India, Doha, on the request of the Taliban side.

This was the first formal diplomatic engagement between the two since Taliban took over Afghanistan.

During the meeting, the safety of Indians left in Afghanistan was brought up by the Indian Ambassador. Mittal also expressed India’s concerns over Afghanistan’s soil exploited by anti-India fighters.

“The Taliban representative assured the ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed,” the foreign ministry said.

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The official statement issued by the Foreign Ministry of India said “Discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan. The travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit to India also came up.”

According to sources, Stanekzai, who Indian officials say received training in an Indian military academy as an Afghan officer in the 1980s, had informally reached out to India last month, asking it not to shut down its embassy.

Ashok Swain, an Indian professor of peace and conflict research at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research Uppsala University, Sweden spoke on the issue.

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He took to Twitter to express his confusion as to why India can hold talks with Taliban but cannot do so with Pakistan.

Many Pakistanis and Indians engaged on his tweet, voicing their own opinions respectively. Pakistani Twitterati’s pointed out that India could have collaborated with Pakistan and China to ensure peace in the region, however, due to the RSS ideology, India cannot come to the same page with them.

Some also said how BJP wouldn’t win elections any longer if they start having better terms with Pakistan since one of the major reason for their win is their anti-Pakistan stance in their election campaigns.

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On the other side, some Indians agreed with Ashok and said that India should talk with Pakistan to open doors of tourism, culture, sports, trade, agriculture etc. While others justified it by saying that talks with Pakistan have always been disappointing for India, whereas, India is yet to experience what talks with Taliban lead to.