Taliban accuse India of playing negative role in Afghanistan

By: News Desk      Published: 11:23 AM, 17 May, 2020
Taliban accuse India of playing negative role in Afghanistan

The Taliban have lashed out at India, accusing it of playing a “negative” role by supporting the government in Kabul.

In an interview to Azm, a news website, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, deputy head of the Taliban's political office in Qatar and head of the negotiating team with the US, was quoted as saying that “if the Indian government wants to take positive steps in the Afghan peace process and in rebuilding a new Afghanistan, we are counting on it, but according to him, India has been inside Afghanistan for the last 40 years. It played a negative role and maintained economic, military and political ties with a "corrupt" group instead of the nation.”

According to reports, the recent urgent US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s mission to New Delhi was not so much about asking India to talk to the Taliban, as to get New Delhi to persuade the Kabul government to release the Taliban prisoners.

The Ghani government is believed to be dragging its feet, presumably, as sources say, because they don’t believe the Taliban are actually interested in an intra-Afghan dialogue.

In a recent interview, Stanekzai asserted “Intra-Afghan dialogue cannot start unless 5,000 of our prisoners are released and there would be no ceasefire and reduction in violence unless intra-Afghan dialogue starts. The US and the Kabul administration are responsible for this situation.”