Ahead of the upcoming Moscow format meeting in Kazan, Russia, the Taliban has called upon India for economic support and recognition. This development is significant in light of China’s increased engagement with the Taliban and the recent appointment of a new Chinese Ambassador to Kabul.
- India has previously refused to recognize the Taliban’s “Islamic Emirate” and has emphasized the importance of respecting human rights and protecting minority communities.
- This development comes ahead of the Moscow format discussion scheduled to be held in Kazan, Russia, on September 29, which holds regional significance.
- It is the first such meeting after China increased engagement with the Taliban and appointed a new Ambassador to Kabul.
Taliban’s Appeal to India
- The Taliban, represented by Suhail Shaheen, the head of the Political Office of the Taliban administration in Kabul, has expressed a desire for positive traditional relations with India.
- They seek India’s support for economic stability and international recognition.
- The Taliban government refers to itself as the “Islamic Emirate” and claims to have the support of the Afghan people.
- A Taliban delegation, led by their ‘Foreign Minister’ Amir Khan Muttaqi, is engaging in discussions with Kremlin officials in Moscow before heading to Kazan.
- The upcoming Moscow format meeting is significant due to the deepening engagement between the Taliban-led government in Kabul and Moscow and Beijing.
- India has not officially recognized the Taliban’s government and continues to emphasize human rights and minority protection.
- The Taliban has been strengthening diplomatic ties with Russia, China, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan, but no country has accepted a full-fledged Ambassador from Kabul under the current circumstances.
India’s Involvement and Response
- India is reported to be sending representatives to the Kazan meeting, but the External Affairs Ministry has not provided official confirmation at the time of this report.
- The Moscow format is a dialogue platform involving Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, and India. It was initiated to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan.
- India has maintained a “technical team” in its embassy in Kabul to assist with humanitarian efforts but has not allowed the Taliban to appoint diplomatic staff in the embassy in New Delhi.
- The mission in New Delhi has faced financial challenges since the fall of the Ghani government.
- The Kazan meeting gains added importance as China appointed a new ambassador to Kabul earlier this month, becoming the first major power to do so.
- India evacuated its embassy in Kabul in August 2021 and has faced challenges in maintaining the mission’s operations.
- There have been concerns about the whereabouts of Ambassador Farid Mamundzay, and there appear to be internal issues within the Afghan mission in New Delhi.
- Despite diplomatic challenges, trade ties between India and Afghanistan remain intact, as evidenced by the successful India International Mega Trade Fair in Delhi.