India shouldn’t give current Kabul government military aid: Taliban official
Suhail Shaheen at a press conference in Moscow on July 9, 2021. (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)
DAYS after Russia ruled out a military alliance with India on Afghanistan, the Taliban have said that New Delhi is welcome to carry out its aid and reconstruction work on the Afghan soil after a government with the Taliban comes to power but it should not give the current administration in Kabul any military support.
Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s political office spokesman for international media based in Qatar said this in a recent interview.
ALSO READ: Russia rules out military alliance with India on Afghanistan
“About national projects and reconstruction of Afghanistan, the future Islamic government welcomes positive contribution of other countries in reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan. However, India should remain neutral and should not support the current Kabul Administration with military hardware which are ultimately used against the people of Afghanistan and destruction of the country. This is not good for their image and people’s perception of them,” Shaheen said when asked about the role he foresees for India once the Taliban become a part of the government in Kabul.
Pulitzer-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan
It may be mentioned here that Afghanistan envoy to India Farid Mamundzay recently said that Kabul may seek military help from India though he ruled out a direct military interference from New Delhi.
He also said he was not aware of the contacts between the Indian government and his group. His remarks came as the international community remained worried over the extremist group taking control of large swathes of Afghanistan after the US-led forces started exiting it after decades-long occupation.
New Delhi has expressed concern that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan will put its security interests under threat since that group has close links with Pakistan, India’s arch rivals in the region. During the Taliban’s reign in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, terrorism in Kashmir saw a rise. India has long wanted a government in Kabul that does not support the designs of Pakistan-backed terrorist groups in Kashmir. It has given aid to Afghanistan to make it economically stronger, including helping develop the Chabahar port in south-eastern Iran for trade convenience of landlocked Afghanistan.