(Photo credit: @Rezhasan)
On 2 June, Indian diplomats met with Taliban authorities in the Afghan capital Kabul, marking the first time that delegations from both sides met since the Taliban victory over the local US-trained army in August 2021.
The Indian team was led by Joint Secretary of the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran joint division of the Ministry of External Affairs, JP Singh, who met with Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mottaqi to discuss the advancement of diplomatic relations, the establishment of bilateral trade, humanitarian assistance, and the re-opening of the Indian embassy in Kabul.
Per Taliban spox, India's joint secretary JP Singh met "foreign minister" Amir Khan Muttaqi & discussed diplomatic relations, trade & humanitarian aid. Muttaqi described visit of Indian team as a "good start". pic.twitter.com/yR5aY2ouqI
— Rezaul Hasan Laskar (@Rezhasan) June 2, 2022
Mottaqi claims that the talks were a “good start,” and thanked the Indian government for their health and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
Singh and Mottaqi discussed the resumption of stalled projects, the activation of diplomatic ties between them, and India’s provision of consular services to Afghans, specifically students and patients.
Mottaqi said India would consider working with Afghanistan in various sectors, as it has recently opened its ports and borders to Afghan exports.
The Indian delegation said the purpose of their visit was to oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
This meeting came after months of domestic turmoil in Afghanistan, with ISIS increasing the frequency of its attacks in Shia-majority areas.
ISIS attacks have often targeted the Hazara minority in Afghanistan, with one of their most notable attacks being the destruction of Imam Bargah Mosque, which resulted in 65 deaths and dozens of injuries.
The Taliban have focused their efforts on combating ISIS forces, with the government deploying hundreds of its Badri 313 special forces to Nangarhar and Kunar provinces back in January.
Over recent months, Afghanistan has been mired in a humanitarian crisis as a result of a western economic blockade that has denied the country access to its foreign reserves.
UNICEF has reported that over a million Afghan children are at risk of acute malnutrition as a result of this crisis.