Asaduddin Owaisi asks the Modi government to open channels of communication with the Taliban, accuses it of failing to read the situation in Afghanistan

Published : August 17, 2021 21:05 IST

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi. Photo: PTI

As the world watches in bewilderment the unfolding chaos and pandemonium in Afghanistan, Asaduddin Owaisi, Member of Parliament for Hyderabad, said on August 16 that the Narendra Modi government should open channels of formal and informal communication with the Taliban irrespective of whether India officially recognises it or not. Owaisi accused the Modi government of completely failing to read what was happening in Afghanistan over the last seven years.

The maverick and controversial politician who is also the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) said: “Whether or not India recognises the Taliban, [the Narendra Modi] government will have to open channels of communication”. In a series of tweets, Owaisi claimed that the takeover of Afghanistan by the hardline Taliban was not something that happened “out of the blue”. Owaisi tweeted: “We have made three billion dollars ($3 billion) investments in Afghanistan. But no one paid heed and now what’ll the government do? This isn’t something that’s out of the blue. As usual Narendra Modiji’s government seems to be out of its depth. It starts acting only when a crisis is at the doorstep.”

Owaisi further alleged that he had raised the issue in Parliament way back in 2013 and had advised the government to open diplomatic channels with the Taliban to secure India’s strategic interests, but he was scoffed at and criticised for advocating dialogue with the Taliban. Tweeted Owaisi: “In 2019, I reiterated my concerns regarding the unavoidable truth about Afghanistan. While Pakistan, US and Taliban were holding talks in Moscow, @PMOIndia was counting the number of times he hugged Trump. We still don’t know what government’s Afghanistan policy is.”

Talking to reporters, Owaisi said: “By not opening some sort of informal or formal talks with the Taliban India lost time. For the last seven years, the Modi government [has] failed to read what was happening. The Taliban is in complete control of Afghanistan, but India has no communication or talks with them.” Pointing out that India had constructed both the Salama Dam and the Afghan Parliament building, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and had even offered scholarships to Afghan students who came to India, Owaisi said the serious worry for India was now the many ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan.

Said the politician: “Al Qaeda and ISIS have moved their core headquarters and shifted recruitment from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan. Jaish-e-Mohammed is now entrenched in the Helmand area. All security experts have said this“…. We know what the Taliban stand for. We don’t agree with their methods and regressive policies, but can you imagine what will happen with all those ungoverned spaces? It's definitely a huge problem and can become bigger in future.”

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