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India holds talks with senior Taliban official, first since fall of Kabul

India holds talks with senior Taliban official, first since fall of Kabul
File photo of India's ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal. (Photo: AFP/Karim Jaafar)

NEW DELHI: India's ambassador to Qatar held talks with a top Taliban leader on Tuesday (Aug 31), the Indian foreign ministry said, the first formal engagement since the hardline Islamist group took over Afghanistan.

The envoy, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s Political Office in Doha at the request of the Taliban, the foreign ministry said.

India has long had concerns about the Taliban because of their close ties to Pakistan. The foreign ministry said the two sides discussed the safety of Indians left behind in Afghanistan.

Mittal also conveyed India's fears that anti-India militants could use Afghanistan's soil to mount attacks, the foreign ministry said.
 

Source: Reuters/mi

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