Editorial: Deal Taliban carefully

Amid concerns in India that Afghan soil under the Taliban regime can be used for terrorist activities against it, the insurgent group has said it has the right to speak out in favour of Muslims anywhere, including in Kashmir. This has shocked many in our country.

Though it does not have a policy of conducting armed operations against any country, Suhail Shaheen, Taliban spokesman for its political office in Doha, said, “We will raise our voice and say that Muslims are your own people, your own citizens and they are entitled to equal rights under your law.” As Muslims, it was the group’s right to speak out for Muslims living in Kashmir and any other country, Shaheen said while speaking from Doha.

Surprisingly this statement comes at a time when India announced its first formal diplomatic meeting with the Taliban recently — their first official talks since the group seized power in Afghanistan as the US withdrew its forces from there.

The Indian Foreign Ministry said India’s ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met with the head of the Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai. The Taliban had requested the meeting, which took place at the Indian embassy in Doha, according to the Ministry.

 

NT Bureau