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No reaching out to Taliban, says India

Unfazed by the Feb 25 attacks in Kabul, India is scaling up the security of around 3,500 Indians working in Afghanistan and has made it clear that there is no question of India reaching out to the Taliban.

delhi Updated: Apr 03, 2010 23:35 IST

Unfazed by the Feb 25 attacks in Kabul, India is scaling up the security of around 3,500 Indians working in Afghanistan and has made it clear that there is no question of India reaching out to the Taliban.

Reliable sources here said India is aware of the dangers posed by the Taliban, but is "not reaching out" to the hardline militia. New Delhi made it clear that it will await the results of the campaign launched by the US-led forces in Helmand and the military action being planned in Kandahar.

Taking note of the growing operations of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Afghanistan, India has stressed that it will not deter it from continuing the developmental and reconstruction projects worth $1.3 billion there.

India, opposed to artificial distinctions between the good Taliban and bad Taliban, believes that Taliban and Lashkar are morphed together and share a common objective to target Indian interest in Afghanistan, the sources said.

Downplaying reports of the US assigning a central role to Pakistan in Afghanistan, the sources said Washington was aware that it could not "outsource" to Pakistan the handling of the situation in the embattled country.

"They (Americans) have made it very clear to us that they are cooperating with Pakistan as it is needed when it comes to dealing with insurgents in Afghanistan."

The sources pointed out that India will continue to deal with President Hamid Karzai, who is currently engaged in the process of reintegration of the Taliban and will soon be holding Loya Jirga, or grand assembly.