Concerns relating to terrorism primary focus: India on Afghanistan

US Army Soldiers
US Army Soldiers assigned to the 10th Mountain Division stand security at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, in this photo taken on August 15, 2021 and released by US Navy on August 18, 2021. US NAVY/Central Command Public Affairs/Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/Handout via Reuters

New Delhi: India's immediate focus is to ensure that Afghan soil is not used for terrorist activities directed against it, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday, two days after the Indian envoy to Qatar held talks with a top Taliban leader in Doha.

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India used the meeting in Doha to convey its concerns over the possible use of the Afghan territory for anti-India activities and to bring back the remaining Indians from Afghanistan.

"We received a positive response," he said referring to the meeting between Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal and Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai. 

To a volley of questions on whether India would recognise a Taliban regime in the backdrop of the meeting between the two sides, Bagchi said: " It was just a meeting. I think these are very early days."

Asked whether India will have more meetings with the Taliban, the MEA spokesperson said he does not want to speculate.

"I would not like to speculate on the future. I have no update to share on that," he said.

On bringing back the remaining Indians from Afghanistan, Bagchi said India will be able to revisit the matter once the Kabul airport resumes operation.

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