In a major policy shift, India makes overtures to ‘nationalist’ Afghan Taliban factions

Published : June 10, 2021 12:04 IST

Mullah Baradar, co-founder of the Afghan Taliban and one of the group’s main negotiators. Photo: The Hindu Archives

In a major foreign policy departure, India has opened channels of communication with Afghan Taliban factions and leaders, including Mullah Baradar, for the first time, according to media reports. The move comes at a time when there is a rapid scaling down of United States’ forces from Afghanistan.

India had hitherto avoided any kind of engagement with the Afghan Taliban and the latest development is seen as significant vis-a-vis the evolving geo-political landscape.

The shift in India’s position is in sync with the position taken by key powers that the Taliban will play a part in any future dispensation in Kabul.

According to media reports, the outreach is largely being led by Indian security officials. It is understood that the outreach is being made solely Taliban factions and leaders that are perceived as being “nationalist” and are not under the control of the deep state of Pakistan and Iran.

According to a report published in a leading English daily, messages were exchanged between India and Mullah Baradar, the co-founder of the Afghan Taliban and one of the group’s main negotiators.

The report said it was not possible to ascertain whether the two parties also held a meeting or not. Apparently, there is an effort to initiate talks with other Taliban factions.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor