‘Make up your mind’: Omar Abdullah asks Centre to clarify stance on Taliban in Afghanistan

Published on Sep 01, 2021 06:21 PM IST
“Either Taliban is a terror organisation or not, please clarify to us how you see them. If they are a terror group, why are you talking to them? If not then will you (Centre) move to United Nations and have it delisted as a terror organisation? Make up your mind,” Omar Abdullah said.
Nationa Conference leader Omar Abdullah.(ANI)
Nationa Conference leader Omar Abdullah.(ANI)
Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and leader of the JK National Conference (JKNC) party Omar Abdullah on Wednesday asked the Centre to clarify its stance on the Taliban.

“Either Taliban is a terror organisation or not, please clarify to us how you see them. If they are a terror group, why are you talking to them? If not then will you (Centre) move to United Nations and have it delisted as a terror organisation? Make up your mind,” news agency ANI quoted Abdullah as saying.

The remarks came a day after the first officially acknowledged meeting between India and the Taliban. Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met with the head of Taliban’s political office in Doha, Sher Mohammed Abbas Stanekzai, at the Indian embassy there. The ministry of external affairs said that the meeting took place “on the request of the Taliban side.”

Also read | Safe return of Indians, terror in focus at first India, Taliban meet

Abdullah asked the Centre why they were talking with the Taliban if the government considers them to be a terrorist group. Further he also asked if the Centre would move the UN and push for delisting the Taliban as a terrorist organisation.

During the meeting with the Taliban side, the Indian ambassador discussed the safety and early return of Indians stranded in the country, the external affairs ministry said. Also, the travel of Afghan nations, especially the minorities, was also brought up during the talks. The ambassador had also emphasised that the Afghan soil should not be used for terrorist or anti-Indian activities, to which the Taliban representatives had assured that the issues would be addressed positively, the ministry said.

While the Indian side has said that the key priority would be the safety of citizens stranded in Kabul following the Taliban’s takeover, it is yet to recognise the group formally. “The primary concern is the security and safety of people. Currently, there is no clarity about any entity forming a government in Kabul. I think we are jumping the gun regarding recognition,” the MEA had said last week. However, the Taliban have announced that the group wanted to continue Afghanistan’s political, economic and cultural ties with India.

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