THE TALIBAN regime in Afghanistan has requested India to finish the event initiatives it had began in that nation, International Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi mentioned on Sunday.
“We are hopeful that with the upgrading of the diplomatic mission, we will move forward from the humanitarian aspect to development aspects. And in that area, our priority that we’ve also conveyed to the Indian side is that of the completion of some of the incomplete projects that India has done, as a first step,” Balkhi mentioned in an interview with The Indian Categorical — a day earlier than the primary anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
August 15 has been declared a vacation however celebrations by the Taliban regime can be low-key, restricted to an official media occasion. The primary occasions could happen on September 1, the day the final international troops left Afghanistan final 12 months.
Balkhi named the Shahtoot Dam in Kabul as one of many initiatives that the Taliban wished India to finish. “India has a lot of different projects, and they are incomplete. And we have urged them to complete those because if they are not completed, all of it will go to waste,” he mentioned.
India just lately reopened its embassy in Kabul, a 12 months after it was shut down and all personnel evacuated within the wake of the August 15, 2021 Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The mission is manned by a director-rank IFS officer, who’s the officiating deputy chief of mission, and 4 different officers. A contingent of ITBP has additionally been flown over for the safety of the embassy.
On Saturday, Exterior Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had mentioned in Bengaluru that India’s determination to restart the mission was to assist the Afghan individuals by offering humanitarian and medical help and that India wished to assist in the realm of vaccine improvement.
India’s improvement help to Afghanistan is estimated to be value properly over $3 billion throughout 20 years, together with key roads, dams, electrical energy transmission strains and substations, and faculties and hospitals.
Though Delhi has not made any statements but about growing its diplomatic presence in Kabul, Balkhi issued a press release on Saturday, saying the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), the formal identify for the Taliban regime, “welcomes India’s step to upgrade its diplomatic representation in Kabul”. He mentioned the regime would guarantee safety and supply “all cooperation”.
He reiterated on Sunday that “security assurances, diplomatic immunities and all the other necessary steps” had been given to India to improve the embassy.
“We are moving in a very positive direction [with India]. They have reopened the embassy, they have sent their diplomats, they are looking at upgrading the level of representation here in the embassy, we have reopened flights between India and Afghanistan. We are working on letting Indian flights also come to us and currently there is Kam Air that has flights with India,” he mentioned.
Balkhi mentioned commerce with India has “doubled”, and “we’re hopeful that moving forward through dialogue and engagement, we will address the remaining problems and concerns and reach a better stage”.
The IEA additionally needs India to work on connectivity initiatives, Balkhi mentioned, “because we need to connect Central Asia to South Asia. Afghanistan is the closest and most efficient route when it comes to the area of connectivity”.
He mentioned with a purpose to revive connectivity by Iran’s Chabahar port, the Taliban regime is “trying to revive the trilateral mechanism. We have sent our proposal and our messages to the Indian and Iranian sites. And they are open to reviving the Chabahar route”. The Taliban regime can be eager to revive the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline mission.
In response to a query on Pakistan’s denial of entry over the land path to Afghanistan, he mentioned this was “a matter between India and Pakistan… From our side, we are open to all countries to realise the full potential of Afghanistan when it comes to investments, minerals, trade, transit and connectivity”.
Balkhi, who lived overseas for a number of years and speaks English fluently, mentioned the IEA “do not take as fact the claims of the United States” on the presence of the Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri or his killing in Kabul two weeks in the past. He mentioned the official investigation introduced by the regime was nonetheless ongoing.
Reminded a few UN report flagging the presence of Al Qaeda and different terrorist teams together with people who had been a direct concern to India, akin to Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba, Balkhi mentioned the UN had a “track record” of “untrue reports” on Afghanistan. He pointed to a report within the New York Instances a few new evaluation by US intelligence businesses that Al Qaeda has not regrouped in Afghanistan and doesn’t immediately have the flexibility to hold out assaults.
“But the important thing is that the government of Afghanistan has a policy, which is that no individual or group will be allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan to threaten the security of others,” he mentioned.
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Requested if the Taliban had a proper place on the Kashmir subject, the spokesman mentioned: “The policy of the new government of Afghanistan is that we do not interfere in the internal matters of other nations. And we do not allow others to interfere in the internal matters of Afghanistan.”
Requested if it was the Taliban’s place that Kashmir was India’s inner subject, he mentioned: “We consider it an internal issue of Kashmir and all the other relevant sides.”
He mentioned the “best way” that Indian considerations in regards to the Taliban may very well be addressed was “through engagement and through dialogue and interaction”.