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According to a release issued by MEA, “Today, Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of Taliban’s Political Office in Doha. The meeting took place at the Embassy of India, Doha, at the request of the Taliban side.”

“Discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan. The travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit India, also came up.”

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Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner. The Taliban Representative assured the ambassador that these issues would be positively addressed.

India believes that Haqqani Network, which has deep linkages with Pakistan spy agency ISI and India-centric terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed may use its proximity and participation in the Taliban government against India.

India has so far maintained that it will wait and watch the evolving situation in Afghanistan; however, this can be seen as the first official contact between India and Taliban leadership.

India is yet to share its official position on recognition of the Taliban.

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