NEW DELHI — India on Sept. 2 said that it is not aware of any details or nature of what kind of government could be formed in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover of the war-torn country.

The Ministry of External Affairs of India said that the recent meeting with Taliban leadership in Doha—the capital of Qatar—should be seen as a meeting. 

“Let us see Doha meeting for what it is, it is just a meeting, and I think these are still very early days,” said Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.

“I do not have further on that.”

New Delhi said its main concern is that Afghan soil should not be used for terrorism against India.

“Our focus is not that Taliban is a terror organization or not. Our focus is that Afghan soil should not be used in anti-India activity and terrorism against India. We will focus on that element,” said Bagchi.

The Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed no official intimation on government formation in Afghanistan and has categorically said that there is no invitation extended to India.

“We are not aware of the invite. I have seen media reports on the government formation,” Bagchi said.

“We don’t have any update on the invitation ‘and neither could I share the nature of which government could form in Afghanistan.”

The Taliban said that it would form an inclusive government in the next two days. There are preparations underway at the presidential palace in Kabul.

India has also hinted that the evacuation process may restart once Kabul airport resumes operations.

“We are prioritizing evacuation of our nationals and some Afghans. Currently, Kabul airport is not operational, so I don’t have any update on when,” said the Ministry of External Affairs.

“We will revisit the issue once Kabul airport reopens and resume, meanwhile Afghan cell continues to operate.”

India has established its first formal contact with the Taliban on Aug. 31. Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met the head of Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, in Doha at the Indian mission.

India and the Taliban held discussions on the safety of Indians in Afghanistan, especially minorities. Indian envoy Mittal also urged the Taliban that Afghan soil should not be used for terror acts against India.

“It’s not a matter of yes and no. Our aim is that Afghanistan’s land should not be used for terror activity of any kind,” said Bagchi when asked about further talks with the Taliban.

He said that India’s priority is the safety of the Indian people in Kabul. He said that Kabul is not operational, and they will wait until it becomes operational once again for the evacuation process.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra



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