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India envoy in Doha meets Taliban leader

GS Paper 2

Topics covered: International relations


Context: Official meeting between representatives of India and Taliban leaders in Qatar recently

More on the news

  • Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met with the head of the Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai
  • This is the first public engagement between India and the regime of Taliban
  • Discussions between the two were centered on- safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan and travel of Afghan nationals who wished to come to India.
  • India also raised the issue of ensuring that Afghanistan shall not be used as a front to wage terrorist activities against India
  • Taliban regime at various times has expressed its interest to have ‘good relations’ with India since coming to power
  • India remains wary of establishing full diplomatic relations with Afghanistan considering the closeness of Taliban to Pakistan and how the former could be used as a proxy to harm the strategic interests of India and also the presence of elements such as Haqqani network amongst the Taliban who were responsible for terrorist attack against Indian embassy
  • India has adopted a ‘wait and watch’ approach in its future dealings with Taliban and any interaction of India with Afghanistan will be based on Afghanistan’s actions with regard to human rights, treatment of women and minorities, and attitude towards terror groups that could target India using the Afghan territory.

More on this issue

Afghanistan and its strategic location:

Significance of Afghan stability :

  • Can have spill over to Neighboring central Asian countrieslike Tajikistan, Uzbekistan etc
  • Taliban presence will revive extremism in the regionand the region can become a safe sanctuary for Let, ISIS etc.
  • The possibility of a civil war in Afghanistan will lead to a refugee crisisin Central Asia and beyond.
  • Afghanistan’s stability will help the Central Asian countries with the shortest access to the seaports of the Indian Ocean.
  • Afghanistan has been an important link in the regional trade, cultural, playing the role of a connecting bridge for Central and the rest of the world.

Why it is imperative now for India to engage with Taliban? 

  • Taliban has now seized power in Afghanistan.
  • India is already having huge investments in Afghanistan. To secure assets worth $3 billion, India should engage with all parties in Afghanistan.
  • Taliban engaging with Pak deep state will not be in India’s best interest.
  • If India does not engage now Russia, Iran, Pakistan and China will emerge as the shapers of Afghanistan’s political and geopolitical destiny, which for sure will be detrimental to Indian interests.
  • The U.S. has announced a new, surprise formation of a “Quad” on regional connectivity — U.S.-Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistanthat does not include India.
  • India’s effort to trade with Afghanistan Via Chabahar port in order to increase the economy on scale.


Need of the hour:

  • Urgent need to collectively act for the safety of Afghan civilians by allowing for evacuation where required
  • Afghanistan should be given enough space in Central Asian architectures like SCO(Shanghai cooperation organisation)
  • Unified action for the refugee crisis
  • Indian engagement with Taliban to maintain peace with immediate neighbors.


Insta Curious: 

Know about the US- Taliban peace deal: Click here


Insta Links: 

Prelims Link: 

  1. About Taliban. 
  2. Afghan Crisis. 
  3. About NATO. 
  4. India’s investments in Afghanistan Projects. 

Mains Link: 

Discuss why India should engage with Afghanistan now.