India has not recognised the Taliban but amid the security concerns, New Delhi has reopened its embassy in Kabul to provide all help to Afghan people.
The opening of the embassy coincided with the devastating earthquake which killed more than 1000 people and injured thousands in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, didn't give details about the technical team sent to Afghanistan. He said the team was sent to "closely monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders for the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance" as part of a "continuation of our engagement with the Afghan people."
According to sources the “technical” team comprises experts of providing help in the wake of natural disasters along with security experts, personnel for the security of the embassy and others.
‘This was the first batch of consignment and more will be sent to Afghanistan shortly. The team is in touch with the Taliban authorities to ensure proper distributions of the relief materials,” said the source. India has also been sending wheat consignments to Kabul to ward off hunger in Afghanistan.
India's return to Kabul follows repeated assurances by the Taliban of a secure environment for Indian diplomats The Taliban have been appreciative of India’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
“Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan welcomes the decision by India to return diplomats and technical team to their embassy in Kabul to continue their relations with the Afghan people and their humanitarian assistance,” said Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. Without taking any country’s name, Balkhi said that many countries are sending humanitarian aid, including food, medicine, shelter, and other necessities for the needy Afghan people but one should not “politicise” the relief effort.
India was left with no diplomatic presence in Kabul after it evacuated its staff after Taliban’s takeover of Kabul last year in August. India closed its consulates in Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif due to security concerns and removed all its diplomats and security personnel from the country.
The Taliban government has been urging India to return to Afghanistan as India has deeper ties with the people of Afghanistan and promised all security to its personnel.
“They (India) are welcome and we request them to complete their projects or to initiate new ones. India has a relationship with the people of Afghanistan, they were there, they are there, and they will be there,” said Suhail Shaheen, the then spokesperson of the Taliban just after the formation of the government in Kabul.
Even though India had no presence in the country but it has sent 20,000 tons of wheat, 13 tons of medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines and winter clothing to Afghanistan to help with shortages there since then,
After 10 months the Taliban leadership earlier this month again requested India to reopen its embassy and promised all security. The Taliban leadership assured India that they will not allow al-Qaeda or Pakistan based terrorist groups to target India and will act against them on basis of actionable intelligence.
The Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mottaqi told the Indian delegation that India should resume its stalled projects, activate its diplomatic presence, and provide consular services to Afghans, especially Afghan students and patients.
Recently the Taliban’s aviation ministry announced that they were ready to resume direct Kabul-Delhi flights as soon as India gives the green signal.
Though the world including India has not recognised the Taliban, India has been sending humanitarian consignments to the people of Afghanistan through UN organisations as well.
“We are now in the process of shipping more medical assistance and food grains to Afghanistan. We also gifted one million doses of “Made-in-India” COVAXIN COVID-19 vaccines to Iran to administer to the Afghan refugees in Iran. In addition, we have assisted UNICEF by supplying almost 60 million doses of polio vaccine and two tons of essential medicines,” TS Tirumurti, India’s Representative to the UN told the UNSC on Thursday.