Team Blitz India
KABUL: India participated in the inaugural international meeting recently convened by Afghanistan’s Taliban administration, making it the first significant engagement since the group’s return to power in Kabul in 2021.
Hosted by Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, the meeting aimed at advancing economic connectivity and fostering cooperation among regional nations to address shared challenges.
The participants included representatives from India, China, Russia, Pakistan, and Iran. Muttaqi proposed the initiation of “regional peace talks” aimed at enhancing and sustaining positive interaction with Afghanistan, emphasising the need for “constructive engagement” with the international community.
However, he firmly rejected the notion of appointing a United Nations special envoy for Afghanistan, despite a December resolution from the UN SC advocating for such an appointment.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan respects others’ interests, choices, government structures, and development models, and in return, expects others to respect Afghanistan’s interests,” Muttaqi said while addressing reporters.
The Taliban took over power in 2021, overthrowing a democratically elected Government, but global recognition remained elusive given its past record over fundamental rights, and other human rights violations. The absence of international recognition has compounded Afghanistan’s economic struggles, exacerbated by decades of conflict and sanctions imposed on its banking system and foreign assets following the Taliban’s resurgence.
Muttaqi urged participants at the Kabul meeting to present the “ground realities” at the upcoming UN conference, emphasising the importance of accurate assessments and shared perspectives in addressing the complex challenges.