Qatar Govt Official Says Indian Delegation Visited Qatar to Meet Taliban

New Delhi: An Indian delegation made a “quiet go to” to the Gulf nation of Qatar to satisfy with the Taliban, a senior Qatari authorities official said on Monday.

Throughout a webinar, Qatar’s particular envoy for counterterrorism and mediation of battle decision Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani revealed this info within the first official acknowledgement of hyperlinks between India and the Afghan rebel group, Taliban.

There was no response from the Indian authorities following the numerous remarks by the Qatari authorities official.

In reply to a query from The Hindu about function of India within the stalled Afghan peace course of, Al Qahtani said that it was a “very difficult query”.

“Afghanistan soil shouldn’t change into a proxy for any international locations. Sure, it’s within the curiosity of Pakistan to have a extra steady Afghanistan. It’s within the curiosity of India to have a extra steady Afghanistan. We perceive Pakistan is a neighbouring nation. India is the nation that has accomplished numerous economically and naturally they need Pakistan to be extra peaceable and steady,” he stated.

The Qatari official then famous that New Delhi has additionally reached out to Taliban’s political workplace in Doha. “I perceive that there was quiet go to by Indian officers from India to talk with the Taliban. Why? As a result of not everyone seems to be believing that Taliban will dominate and take over, however as a result of the Taliban is a key element of future Afghanistan. So, I see the rationale of getting a dialogue or talks and reaching out to all events in Afghanistan,” he said.

He cautioned that because it was a “vital stage” within the Afghan peace course of, if any assembly is happening, “it ought to be for a predominant cause to encourage the events to unravel their variations by peaceable means”.

India’s official coverage has been to not recognise the Taliban in any approach, with the Afghan authorities accorded the popularity as the one respectable stakeholder within the war-ravaged nation.

When Taliban have been invited to talks with Afghan authorities representatives in Moscow, India had despatched retired diplomats as observers, fairly than officers within the delegation.

In the course of the official signing of the Doha settlement final 12 months, India’s ambassador to Qatar had attended the ceremony. When the intra-Afghan talks started in September 2020, India despatched a senior diplomat to Doha, whereas Indian overseas minister S. Jaishankar attended via video hyperlink.

Final week, throughout his go to to Kenya and Kuwait, Jaishankar transited twice via Qatar. India said that he had met with the Qatari management and US Particular Consultant for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha.

Earlier this month, The Hindustan Instances reported that there was a “big shift” in India’s coverage by makes an attempt to conduct outreach with the Taliban.

In response to the article, exterior affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi refused to touch upon that exact report, however added that India has supported “all peace initiatives, and have been engaged with a number of stakeholders, together with regional international locations”.

He reiterated, “We’re in contact with numerous stakeholders, as I stated, in pursuance of our long run commitments in the direction of growth and reconstruction of Afghanistan.”

That is the second time that an official of a Gulf kingdom has talked about an Indian diplomatic initiative which is essentially stored beneath wrap by New Delhi.

In April, UAE’s ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, said that the Gulf nation performed a job “in bringing Kashmir escalation down and created a ceasefire, hopefully finally resulting in restoring diplomats and getting the connection again to a wholesome stage”.

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