South Asia and Beyond

“Not One Security Incident Directed At India’s Diplomats, Afghanistan Not A Playground For Powers”

Kabul: In his first in-person interview in Kabul with an Indian media platform, Maulvi Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan(IEA) in conversation with StratNews Global(SNG) Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi. SNG’s reports in Afghanistan have been filmed by Video Journalist Rohit Pandita. Initial on-the-spot translation is provided by Abdul Qahar Balkhi, Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of the IEA.

Acknowledging “India returning back to Afghanistan as a very good step,” Maulvi Muttaqi tells StratNews Global, “it is predicted that consular services will begin soon. All of this is improvement and progress. We look forward to more assistance and more humanitarian aid from India as it has done before”. The IEA Foreign Minister points out the significance of India “sending its diplomats, reopening the embassy and raising the level of representation. From the diplomatic standpoint, it is very important and it works to deepen the relations between India and Afghanistan. Your sending diplomats to the Indian embassy and us sending diplomats to the Afghan Embassy in India, this is the diplomatic engagement which will move us forward”. Sources tell SNG though, that specifically allowing Taliban appointed diplomats in Afghan Missions in India will not happen in the short term but depending on developments it could happen sometime next year. The diplomats currently in India were appointed by the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which fell on August 15, 2021, when the Taliban seized power. India continues its policy of engaging but not giving official or diplomatic recognition to the de facto Taliban IEA government.

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On specific security assurances given by the very top of the IEA government, Mr Muttaqi says, “there has not been a single security incident that has been directed towards them(India’s diplomats). As a responsible government, we deem it our obligation to provide security to all diplomatic missions and diplomats who come to Kabul.” 

Watch this exclusive interaction in Kabul for more of the Minister’s statements on India’s concerns on terrorism, independence from all outside influence, Afghanistan not being a “playground for the big international and regional powers”, what the IEA will do if “evidence of foreign fighters or training camps” is given, “the Taliban’s balanced foreign policy”, the desire “to transform Afghanistan into the crossroads of connectivity for the entire region”, and relations with China, Russia and the U.S.