No change in India’s position on Taliban: MEA


Amid reports of an Afghan foreign policy body asking officials to attend an online programme under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) initiative, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that there has been no change in its position on not recognising the Taliban regime in Kabul.
At an MEA weekly media briefing, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “Our position on how we see developments in Afghanistan has not changed. I do not think anything should be read into ITEC courses vis-a-vis that. We certainly would not be issuing note verbales, which are inter-governmental notes, to entities that are not recognised.” Reportedly, the Institute of Diplomacy under the Afghan Foreign Ministry conveyed to its officials in Kabul the need to register for the ITEC course being held at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kozhikode, however, Bagchi said that the Indian side does not issue any note verbales to any entities that are not recognised by New Delhi.
A letter issued by the Institute of Diplomacy to inform officials about the ITEC programme also referred to a note verbale from the Indian Embassy in Kabul on the course. Bagchi, responding to it, said that there is no question of sending such communication to entities that are not recognised.
“India has been extending capacity-building assistance to developing countries across the world through what is called the ITEC programme. This includes online courses,” he said.
Bagchi said these scholarship courses cover numerous topics and are conducted by different Indian institutions.
“These courses are also open to nationals of various countries, including Afghanistan. A number of Afghan nationals, both based in India as well as in Afghanistan, have been participating in these ITEC courses,” Bagchi said.
“Of course, the online courses do not involve travel to India,” he said.
India has not yet recognised the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and has been pitching for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul besides insisting that Afghan soil must not be used for any terrorist activities against any country.
India has been pitching for providing unimpeded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country.