While the government has said it is open to working with an Afghanistan dispensation that is ready to protect the interests of the Afghan people, it’s unlikely to take any decision in haste on recognising the Taliban, which is seeking international recognition and legitimacy. In a guarded response to questions on recognition for Taliban, India said the situation was still evolving and that there was no clarity on “any entity” forming the government in Kabul.
India, the US and other likeminded democracies agree there’s a need for as inclusive and as representative government as possible under the circumstances in Kabul. The responses come in the wake of bombers killing 170 people at Kabul airport last week, giving rise to concerns in New Delhi and other world capitals over Afghanistan becoming a full-fledged terror hub, and raising doubts over Taliban’s control over events.
The incidents could be a setback to Pakistan’s efforts to convince governments to recognise or accept the Taliban, all the more so as alleged perpetrators ISIS-Khorasan have roots in Pakistani Taliban. Interestingly enough, ISIS-K is seen to share a deadly rivalry with the Taliban. The MEA warned against “jumping the gun” on the issue of recognition for Taliban. “The situation on the ground is uncertain. The prime concern is the security and safety of the people,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
We want good ties with India
A top official of the militant group, meanwhile, said that want good ties with all countries, including India, as he vowed not to allow Afghan soil to be used against any other country. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that the group, which now rules Afghanistan, considers India an important part of the region. “We desire good ties with all countries, including India, which is an important part of the region. Our desire is that India devise its policy as per the interests of Afghan people," Mujahid was quoted as saying by Pakistan's ARY News channel.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the US and its allies melted away. “We have said it before that we won't allow our soil to be used against any other country. Our policy is clear," Mujahid said when asked about the possible resurgence of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Islamic State in Afghanistan.