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Afghanistan’s foreign minister to visit India

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Afghanistan’s foreign minister to visit India

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Photo: Reuters

Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar will travel to India today to meet with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

The ministers are expected to discuss recent developments in the negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government. India was not included in a recent conference between officials from the US, Russia, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Taliban.

India has long pushed for Afghan-Taliban reconciliation on Afghan terms and continues bilateral exchanges to support the government of President Ashraf Ghani. India is wary of the Taliban’s close affiliation with archrival Pakistan. Other global powers, in contrast, are open to including the Taliban in a new government.

The Taliban is likely to have substantial political power in a new Afghani government. If India continues to shun the Taliban, it will lose credibility and influence in a post-US-dominated Afghanistan. On the other hand, if India begins engaging with the Taliban, India may be able to safeguard its interests in the country and continue to influence Afghanistan’s political trajectory to offset Pakistani influence.

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