China’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyong paid a quiet visit to India this week during which he held talks with a senior Indian official on ways to ensure peace and stability in the war-torn country. People familiar with the development said on Friday that the Chinese envoy held wide-ranging talks with the external affairs ministry’s point person for Afghanistan J P Singh.
It was Yue’s first trip to India which came over four months after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Delhi. On Twitter, the envoy described his visit as “good” and said both sides agreed to “encourage engagement, enhance dialogue and give positive energy for Afghan peace and stability”.
The talks were learnt to have taken place on Thursday. There is no official word from the ministry of external affairs on Yue’s visit. The people cited above said the visit by the Chinese envoy reflected China’s acknowledgement of India’s important role in Afghanistan.
They, however, said the talks should not be seen as the resumption of all kinds of engagement by India with China without complete resolution of the eastern Ladakh border standoff. India has been consistently maintaining that peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were key for the overall development of bilateral ties.
India has been in touch with several leading powers on the situation in Afghanistan. In June, India re-established its diplomatic presence in Kabul by deploying a “technical team” in its embassy in the Afghan capital.
India had withdrawn its officials from the embassy after the Taliban seized power last August following concerns over their security. The reopening of the embassy came weeks after an Indian team led by Singh visited Kabul and met Acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and some other members of the Taliban dispensation.
In the meeting, the Taliban side had assured the Indian team that adequate security will be provided if India sends its officials to the embassy in Kabul. India has not recognised the new regime in Afghanistan and has been pitching for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul besides insisting that Afghan soil must not be used for any terrorist activities against any country.
In the last few months, India supplied several consignments of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. India has been pitching for providing unimpeded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country.
Concerned over developments in Afghanistan, India hosted a regional dialogue on the situation in the country last November that was attended by NSAs of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The participating countries vowed to work towards ensuring that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for global terrorism and called for the formation of an “open and truly inclusive” government in Kabul with representation from all sections of Afghan society.