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India keen to help Afghanistan: Jaishankar

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KABUL: India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday that his country is focusing on helping the Afghan people and would stay away from politics.

Addressing a press conference in India, Jaishankar said an Indian technical team was sent to its Embassy in Afghanistan to monitor the situation and to see how New Delhi can support the Afghan people.

“We pulled back the India-based diplomats and staff after the Taliban took control of Kabul because we had legitimate security concerns, lot of other countries also did it. With the passage of time, we have sent back a technical team to the embassy. They have been there for some time and their job is essentially in a sense to monitor the situation and to see how we can support the Afghan people in their hour of need in a manner,” said Jaishankar.

Regarding India-Afghanistan relations, he said, “I mean this is a country which had vaccine shortage, it had wheat shortage, it had medicine shortage. You know, there are projects that will get into difficulty with the passage of time. The focus right now in Afghanistan is less, I would say, political. It is more like helping the Afghan people because Afghan people are people with whom we have a historical connect. So, that is really the current state of the situation.”

Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 from the then Afghan government.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said in March that there has been no change in India’s position on not recognizing the Taliban set up in Afghanistan.

“Our position on how we see developments in Afghanistan has not changed. I do not think anything should be read into ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) courses vis-a-vis that. We certainly would not be issuing note verbales, which are inter-governmental notes, to entities that are not recognized,” he had said in response to queries.

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