Taliban wants India to retain diplomatic presence in Afghanistan


People carry Afghanistan’s national flag to mark the 102nd Independence Day of Afghanistan in the Wazi Akbar khan area of Kabul on August 19, 2021, days after the Taliban’s military takeover of the country. – AFP photo

NEW DELHI (Aug 20): The head of Taliban’s political office in Doha, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, has asked India to retain its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, vowing to ensure the mission’s safety, Sputnik quoted the Hindustan Times report on Friday, citing sources.

The informal request was made shortly before India evacuated about 200 people, including its diplomatic and security personnel on Monday and Tuesday, the Indian media outlet reported.

Stanikzai conveyed in his message to the Indian side that the Taliban were aware of New Delhi’s concerns over the security situation in Kabul following the Aug 15 seizure of power by the Taliban, telling them not to worry about the safety of its mission, according to the informed sources.

India has reviewed the request but came to the conclusion that it should not be accepted and that the evacuation of the diplomats should proceed as planned. – Bernama