Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the Head of the Taliban’s Political Office in Doha, said this week that the new regime wants to continue its trade, economic and cultural ties with India. New Delhi was one of the strongest backers of “democracy” in Afghanistan under fugitive President Ashraf Ghani, which had put it at odds with the Taliban.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has said that his Islamist outfit has the right to speak up for Muslims anywhere in the world, including in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
Shaheen, who is also a member of the Taliban’s negotiating team in Doha, Qatar, however added that his group was obliged to not let Afghanistan’s territory be used by any terrorist outfit against a third country.
“I am just saying that if the Muslims are not given their rights as mentioned under Indian law, then the Taliban will raise the issue. We have done it in the past and will continue to do so,” stated Shaheen.
Shaheen’s comments were made hours after the death of pro-Pakistan Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. An Indian national who advocated for Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan, Geelani had been under house arrest in Srinagar since 2010.
After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on 15 August, India said that it would “facilitate the repatriation” of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus wanting to leave the Central Asian nation.
“We are in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu…