Taliban makes BIG statement on cultural, economic and trade ties with India: Here's all you need to know

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, August 29, 2021, 06:12 PM IST
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A Taliban Fateh fighter (L), a "special forces" unit, stands guard along with other fighters on a street in Kabul on August 29, 2021, as suicide bomb threats hung over the final phase of the US militarys airlift operation from Kabul, with President Joe Biden warning another attack was highly likely before the evacuations end. | (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

The Taliban has made a big statement on cultural, economic and trade ties with India. In a video posted on social media platforms on Saturday, Taliban leader Sher Mohammed Abbas Stanekzai has said the group wants to continue Afghanistan’s political, economic and cultural ties with India.

“India is very important for this subcontinent. We want to continue our cultural, economic and trade ties with India like in the past,” Stanekzai said. “Trade with India through Pakistan is very important for us. With India, trade through air corridors will also remain open,” he added. "We are looking forward to working with India in this regard,” the Taliban leader further said.

Stanekzai is the first member of the Taliban’s top hierarchy to speak about the ties with India since it tookover the country. According to a Hindustan Times report, Stanekzai had earlier informally reached out to the India and made a request to retain its diplomatic presence in Kabul. However, India reportedly did not respond to Stanekzai’s remarks and pulled out nearly 200 diplomats, officials and security personnel, including the ambassador, from Kabul.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that despite many challenges India is evacuating its people from Afghanistan, asserting that if any Indian is in trouble anywhere in the world, the country stands up to help them with all its might.

PM Modi, who was speaking after dedicating to the nation the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar through video link, referred to "Operation Devi Shakti", India's complex mission to evacuate its citizens and Afghan partners from Kabul, and said that not just people, but Sikh holy scriptures have been brought back. He said be it the COVID-19 crisis or the present situation in Afghanistan, India always helped its nationals in any part of the world.

"Today, if any Indian is in trouble anywhere in the world, then India stands up to help him with all its might. Be it the Corona period or the crisis of Afghanistan, the world has experienced it continuously. Hundreds of people from Afghanistan are being brought to India under Operation Devi Shakti," the prime minister said.

PM Modi said, "There are many challenges. The circumstances are difficult but Guru Kripa (grace of Gurus) is with us", and added the government could also bring "swaroop" of holy Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan.

(With PTI inputs)

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