An Indian team led by J P Singh, the Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iran) Ministry of External Affairs is currently on a visit to Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of India's humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. This is the first ever visit of Indian officials to Kabul after the Taliban’s capture of power in Afghanistan last year.
According to a press release by the MEA, “the Indian team will meet representatives of the international organisations involved in distribution of humanitarian assistance. In addition, the team is expected to visit various places where Indian programmes/projects are being implemented.”
In Kabul, they will meet the “senior members of the Taliban”, and hold discussions on India’s humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
“India’s development and humanitarian assistance has received a widespread appreciation across the entire spectrum of the Afghan society. In this connection, the Indian team will meet the senior members of the Taliban, and hold discussions on India’s humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” said the release.
The Ministry also underlined that India has “historical and civilisational ties with the Afghan people” and “these longstanding linkages will continue to guide our approach”.
It may be recalled that in response to the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, India decided to extend humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. In this endeavour, we have already dispatched several shipments of humanitarian assistance consisting of 20,000 MTs of wheat, 13 tons of medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID Vaccine and winter clothing. These consignments were handed over to the India Gandhi Children Hospital, Kabul and UN specialized agencies including WHO and WFP. Furthermore, India is in the process of shipping more medical assistance and food grains to Afghanistan.
India has built the Afghan Parliament and the India-Afghanistan friendship dam in western Herat Province. Along with this, New Delhi has also taken up 116 high impact community development projects in 31 provinces of the country.
India doesn't recognise the Taliban regime but that hasn't stopped it from reaching out to Afghan people with wheat, vaccines—polio and Covid—and winter clothing. In the aftermath of the Taliban takeover in August last year, India had shut its mission in the country.
Taliban leaders have repeatedly made this clear and have thanked New Delhi for its humanitarian assistance and other essentials. Taliban’s UN ambassador-designate Suhail Shaheen told the India media that the government in Kabul was ready to provide a "secure environment" for the Indian embassy in Kabul and that diplomatic presence was essential for boosting bilateral relations.
Backing its security measures to all foreign diplomats in the country, Shaheen told Khaama Press that “it is our responsibility and we have proved that” support to diplomats of other countries and that it will do the same to all Indian officials.
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