External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is set for a mission to Afghanistan in the wake of recent postures from President Hamid Karzai that have New Delhi concerned.
Krishna, who is in Islamabad for foreign minister-level talks from July 14 to 16, will be in Afghanistan from July 19 to 21. Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao is expected to be part of the delegation, sources in the ministry said.
The visit comes at a time the process of reintegration of the Taliban is taking a Pakistan-centred turn. India has already conveyed this concern to the US, an official said.
“A Pakistan-sponsored reintegration of Taliban is something about which we have genuine concerns. Whatever happens in Afghanistan has a direct bearing on our national security, so we need to be on guard. For example, some of the 26/11 Mumbai attackers were trained in Afghanistan,” he added.
South Block sources also admitted that Karzai, not so popular with the West, was playing survival games and hunting for new allies and friends.
Krishna will reiterate India’s continuing support for the “economic development of a democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan”, a source said.
The minister will also discuss the safety of the 4,000 Indian nationals in Afghanistan.
The sources said that during the meeting with Pakistani counterpart Shah Memhood Qureshi, the Afghanistan issue would come up.
“Pakistan must understand that Indian interests in Afghanistan... don’t cross with that of Islamabad,” said a source. Pakistan has been consistently raising concerns about the Indian presence in Afghanistan.