First Indian delegation reaches Kabul since the Taliban took overtext_fields
New Delhi: a delegation of Indian officials visited Kabul for the first time after the country was taken over by the Taliban in August last year. A team under a senior official from the Union Ministry of External Affairs has reached the Afghan capital, where they are scheduled to meet with the "senior members of the Taliban"
The Ministry of External Affairs said that they will meet with the Taliban leaders and discuss India's humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. The Ministry added that the visit was also to oversee the delivery operations of our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
The officials will meet representatives of the International Organisations who are involved in distribution of the aid. Additionally, the team is expected to visit various places where Indian programmes/projects are being implemented, the Indian Express reported.
On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs said, "A team led by Joint Secretary (PAI), Ministry of External Affairs, is currently on a visit to Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan."
J P Singh the Joint Secretary in-charge of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, is the official in-charge of leading this team. He has previously met with the Taliban officials in Doha.
"In response to the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, India decided to extend humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. In this endeavor, we have already dispatched several shipments of humanitarian assistance consisting of 20,000 MTs of wheat, 13 tons of medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID Vaccine and winter clothing. These consignments were handed over to the India Gandhi Children Hospital, Kabul and UN specialized agencies including WHO and WFP. Furthermore, India is in the process of shipping more medical assistance and foodgrains to Afghanistan," the MEA said.
They added: "In continuation with our developmental partnership with Afghan brethren, we have gifted one million doses of India-made COVAXIN to Iran to administer to Afghan refugees in Iran. We have also assisted UNICEF by supplying almost 60 million doses of polio vaccine and two tons of essential medicines."
The MEA further stated that: "India's development and humanitarian assistance has received a widespread appreciation across the entire spectrum of the Afghan society. In this connection, the Indian team will meet the senior members of the Taliban, and hold discussions on India's humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan."
The Ministry reiterated that India has "historical and civilisational ties with the Afghan people" and "these longstanding linkages will continue to guide our approach".