Addressing a press conference here on nine years of the Modi government, Jaishankar said the focus right now in Afghanistan is less political and it is more on helping the Afghan people and noted that there has been a “historical connect” with them.
“We pulled back the India-based diplomats and staff after the Taliban took control of Kabul because we had legitimate security concerns, lot of other countries also did it. With the passage of time, we have sent back a technical team to the embassy. They have been there for some time and their job is essentially in a sense to monitor the situation and to see how we can support the Afghan people in their hour of need in a manner,” Jaishankar said in response to ANI’s question.
He was asked about the status of India-Afghanistan relations and if there will be any kind of beginning of minimal engagement with the present dispensation in Afghanistan.
“I mean this is a country which had vaccine shortage, it had wheat shortage, it had medicine shortage. You know, there are projects that will get into difficulty with the passage of time. The focus right now in Afghanistan is less, I would say, political. It is more like helping the Afghan people because Afghan people are people with whom we have a historical connect. So, that is really the current state of the situation,” Jaishankar added.
Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 from the then Afghan government.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said in March that there has been no change in India’s position on not recognising the Taliban set up in Afghanistan.
“Our position on how we see developments in Afghanistan has not changed. I do not think anything should be read into ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) courses vis-a-vis that. We certainly would not be issuing note verbales, which are inter-governmental notes, to entities that are not recognised,” he had said in response to queries.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan had told Parliament in December last year that India has been engaged with Afghanistan in a development partnership that includes more than 500 projects.
“India has been engaged in a development partnership with Afghanistan which includes more than five hundred projects spread across each of the 34 provinces of the country in critical areas of power, water supply, road connectivity, healthcare, education, agriculture, and capacity building. The vast majority of the projects committed to by the Government of India in Afghanistan have been completed and handed over,” Muraleedharan had said.