An Indian delegation led by MEA Joint Secretary (PAI), JP Singh met senior Taliban leadership in Kabul.
According to diplomats (based in US and EU), Islamabad has asked its diplomatic missions to focus on the ‘anti-India narrative’ by projecting that New Delhi’s offer to train the armed forces of the Taliban regime was not genuine for India had earlier trained Afghan national army soldiers to fight against the same Sunni Pashtun force.
It has also asked its mission to remind Pak-friendly countries that India in the past had termed the Taliban a proxy terrorist group of Pakistan and supported the erstwhile Afghan government. It wants its diplomats to convey that India always relies on non-ethnic Pashtun leaders to maintain its political influence in Afghanistan.
India has deep civilizational ties with Afghanistan and it committed to support its people irrespective of who is in power. While India had refused to send its troops to Afghanistan post 9/11 as part of US led coalition, it has been constantly involved in road, power, dams, infrastructure building projects in that country for decades.
India sent a Russian IL-76 heavy lift aircraft full of humanitarian assistance for the earthquake-affected in Afghanistan. While India has cemented its people to people ties with Afghanistan, Pakistan apparently is trying to highlight the following as India is neither a geographical nor strategic ally of Afghanistan hence its engagement with Taliban is dubious. Adding to that, Indian policymakers continue to articulate that there was no guarantee that Afghanistan would not become a haven for terrorists again and lastly A large number of Afghans who had fled to India following Taliban takeover are being deported from there and that India was one of the first countries to close down its missions in Kabul and consulate in Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar after the Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15, 2021.
The anti-India narratives spun out by Pakistan is designed to inject toxicity in New Delhi’s recently developed bilateral relations with Kabul.