Qatar hosts India’s first formal Taliban talks
India’s ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met with Taliban political office head Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai in Doha.
It was the first formal meeting between an Indian diplomat and the Taliban since the 1990s.
Mittal and Stanikzai also discussed New Delhi’s concerns about Afghanistan being used as a base for terrorism.
Engaging with the Taliban is necessary because it is one of the most important political stakeholders in Afghanistan, according to Harsh Pant of the Observer Research Foundation.
On Tuesday, India announced its first formal diplomatic meeting with the Taliban since the group seized power in Afghanistan as the US withdrew its forces.
Indian Foreign Minister Deepak Mittal met with Taliban political office head Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the ministry said. The Taliban requested the meeting, which was held at the Indian embassy in Doha.
In addition to Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan, Mittal and Stanikzai discussed the possibility of Afghan minorities visiting India, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The Indian ambassador also expressed concern about Afghanistan being used as a terrorist base.