Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, one of the senior leaders of the Taliban shared that the Taliban wants to engage in trade with India. He said that Afghanistan and India must develop their relations economically and politically for stability in the region.
Stanekzai has called India to be an “important country” and that trade with it via Pakistan is crucial for Afghanistan. He stressed the need to keep the air trade route between India and Afghanistan open. Stanekzai supported Indian investment in Chabahar port in Iran saying it works well with Afghanistan. He also highlighted the development of relations of Afghanistan with Pakistan, China, and Russia.
The Taliban will soon disclose their plans for the governance of Afghanistan now that the US withdrawal is completed. Stanekzai said that rigorous consultations ate ongoing with all existing factions so a representative government can be set up.
Tolo News cited Stanekzai on the matter, “Currently, the Taliban leadership is consulting with different ethnic groups, political parties and within the Islamic Emirate about forming a government that has to be accepted both inside and outside Afghanistan and to be recognised.”
India watches events unfold, waiting for an opportunity
India has been an invested regional player in Afghanistan with 3 billion US dollars and about 500 projects all over the country. India’s silence has made it loud and clear that it is currently a loser in the region. With the Indian aligned government of Kabul collapsing, it has been closely monitoring the events unfold since the Taliban came into power.
“The situation on the ground is uncertain. The prime concern at present is the security and safety of the people. Currently, there is a lack of clarity or no clarity about any entity forming a government in Kabul,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
So far its sole focus has been the safe evacuation of citizens. India has severe concerns for the security and safety of people and is partaking in regional dialogue to mitigate the Afghan crisis, as Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla informed domestic leadership.
Shringla said India has adopted the “wait and watch” approach to see if the Taliban fulfils the conditions of an inclusive and shared government, that adheres to the principles of the international community.
“Governments have no option but to come to terms, now or later, with the victor. There is no reason, then, for the Indian discourse to be surprised at the rapid normalisation of the Taliban by the international community,” C. Raja Mohan, a prominent Indian Academic at the National University of Singapore, Director Institute for South Asian Studies, and Editor at the Indian Express pointed out in his recent article.
Taliban's Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai calls for good ties with India. First public comment on India by Taliban leader in a speech after fall of Kabul. Stanikzai is passout of India's Indian Military Academy (IMA).pic.twitter.com/gd2EmZ8n7E
— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) August 28, 2021