In its first official statement since it claimed power in Kabul, the Taliban late on Monday night warned that it won’t allow anyone to use the Afghanistan soil against any other country. It, however, said that India is welcome to complete its reconstruction and infrastructure projects in the country.
The statement was made by Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen during a TV interview with Pakistan’s Hum News channel.
Talking about the terrorist organisation’s views regarding India, Shaheen said in Urdu, “We have said that we will not allow any country or any group to use the soil of Afghanistan against anyone. This is clear. Secondly, [India] has made projects, many reconstruction and infrastructure projects, and if they want, they can complete the incomplete projects because they are for the people.”
“But if anyone wants to use Afghan soil for their objectives or for their military objectives or for their rivalries – our policy doesn’t allow anyone to do that,” he added.
Experts fear that for India the first and foremost ramification of Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan will be the threat to its investments. India has been investing in infrastructure, education, medical, agriculture as well as power generation.
However, in May, too, Taliban had said that it would like to have a positive relationship with India and welcomed New Delhi’s cooperation in Afghanistan. Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada had also reiterated earlier of the group’s plans to have “positive bilateral relations” with regional countries.
India, which is heading the UNSC Presidency for the month of August, said in a recent meeting that it was greatly concerned by the situation in Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover, and said the country’s neighbours would feel safer if the Afghan land is not used for terrorism.
“As a neighbour of Afghanistan and a friend to its people, the current situation prevailing in the country is of great concern to us in India. Afghan men, women and children are living under a constant state of fear. They are uncertain about their future. Everyone is concerned about the increasing violations of the fundamental rights of Afghan citizens. Afghans are worried about whether their right to live with dignity would be respected," said Ambassador TS Tirumurti.
He said the Council hopes the situation stabilizes soon, and the parties concerned address the humanitarian and security issues. “We also hope that there is an inclusive dispensation which represents all sections of Afghan society. Voices of Afghan women, aspirations of Afghan children and the rights of minorities must be respected. A broader representation would help the arrangement gain more acceptability and legitimacy," he said.