Situation dire, India must tell Taliban join mainstream, support only then, says Afghan envoy

Describing the situation in Afghanistan as “difficult, dire and problematic”, Farid Mamundzay, the country’s ambassador to India, has said Delhi should convey to the Taliban that if they cut ties with “regional terrorist groups” and give up violence to become part of the “mainstream society”, it will continue to support and assist Afghanistan politically and diplomatically.

In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express, Mamundzay said Indian development projects — roads, schools, dams among others — are “at risk” if the security situation deteriorates further. The exit of US troops has had the Taliban overrunning large swathes in Afghanistan, especially in the northern provinces which were never under their control.

India has committed about USD 3 billion towards projects in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

“Taliban are Afghans. Today or tomorrow, they will talk to us. They will talk to the Afghan people and Afghan government. And we want the Taliban to let go of violence, cut ties with international terrorist groups, and become part of the mainstream polity of the country in a peaceful manner, in a peaceful way,” Mamundzay said.

“Engagement of India with the Taliban is something that we cannot officially confirm at this stage. But of course, strong messages from India would certainly help convey messages of cutting ties with regional terrorist groups. Messages that India would continue to support Afghanistan should Taliban…

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