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Taliban appreciates India's development efforts in Afghanistan, assures not to target any embassy or diplomat

The Taliban completed their sweep of Afghanistan's south on Friday, taking four more provincial capitals in a lightning offensive that brought them closer to Kabul just weeks before the US is set to officially end its two-decade war.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: August 14, 2021 11:58 IST
taliban afghanistan capture
Image Source : AP

Taliban fighters stand guard inside the city of Ghazni, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Taliban has appreciated India's humanitarian and development efforts in Afghanistan. Speaking to news agency ANI, Taliban spokesperson Muhammed Suhail Shaheen acknowledged that India has constructed roads, dams and made contributions for other infrastructure projects.

"We appreciate everything in capacity building, whether it is Parliament, schools, roads or dams. India has infused more than USD 2 billion in assistance to Afghanistan. We appreciate everything that has been done for the people of Afghanistan like dams, national projects, infrastructure and anything that is for the development of Afghanistan for its reconstruction, for economic prosperity and for the people of Afghanistan," Shaheen told ANI.

When asked if Taliban can assure India that Afghanistan soil will not be used against it, he said, "We have a general policy that we are committed not to allow anyone to use Afghanistan soil against any country including the neighbouring countries."

"There were reports about an Indian delegation meeting our delegation, but I can’t confirm that. According to my info, (separate) meeting hasn't happened but yesterday we had a meeting in Doha, in which an Indian delegation also participated," he said.

Won't target any embassy or diplomat: Taliban

"There is no danger from our side to embassies and diplomats. We won't target any embassy or diplomat. We have said that in our statements many times. It is our commitment," he added.

On the removal of Nishan Sahib from a Gurudwara in Afghanistan's Paktia, he said that the flag was removed by the Sikh community themselves. "When our security officials went there, they said that if a flag is seen, someone will harass them. Our people assured them and they hoisted it again."

To a question on Taliban having deep linkages with Pakistan-based terror groups, the spokesperson replied, "These are baseless allegations. They are not based on ground realities but on the basis of their certain policies towards us, on the basis of politically motivated goals."

The Taliban completed their sweep of Afghanistan's south on Friday, taking four more provincial capitals in a lightning offensive that brought them closer to Kabul just weeks before the US is set to officially end its two-decade war. In the last 24 hours, the country's second and third-largest cities Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south have fallen to the insurgents, as has the capital of the southern province of Helmand, where American, British and NATO forces fought some of the bloodiest battles of the conflict.

While Kabul is not directly under threat yet, the resurgent Taliban were battling government forces in Logar province, some 80 kms from the capital. The US military has estimated that Kabul could come under insurgent pressure within 30 days and that the Taliban could overrun the rest of the country within a few months.

Meanwhile, the US will send 3,000 troops to help evacuate some personnel from the US Embassy in Kabul. Britain and Canada are also sending forces to aid their evacuations. Denmark said it will temporarily close its embassy, while Germany is reducing its embassy staff to the absolute minimum.

READ MORE: Taliban sweep across Afghanistan's south, nears Kabul; US, UK, others prepare for evacuations

READ MORE: Afghanistan spinning out of control, may plunge into prolonged civil war: UN Chief

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