Indian delegation discusses Chabahar Port, humanitarian aid in Kabul, official says

An Indian delegation’s recent visit to Kabul included discussions on humanitarian assistance and the use of Chabahar port by Afghan traders, according to Randhir Jaiswal, spokesman for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

The delegation, led by JP Singh, Joint Secretary (PAI) of the Ministry of External Affairs, met with Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, former President Hamid Karzai, and officials from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

“India opened its Technical Mission in Kabul in June 2022, which has since been facilitating and coordinating our ongoing humanitarian assistance efforts,” Jaiswal told reporters. “The delegation held discussions on India’s humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and also on the use of Chabahar port by Afghan traders.”

Jaiswal emphasized India’s historical and civilizational ties with Afghanistan, stating that these long-standing connections will continue to guide India’s approach.

Political analysts believe India is aiming to mitigate the risks associated with terrorist groups in contact with the Taliban. “India, wary of Pakistan’s influence on the Taliban and the Taliban’s relations with Jaish Mohammad and Lashkar-e Taiba, has maintained a technical team in Kabul to alleviate its concerns,” said political analyst Nisar Ahmad Shirzai.

Analyst Sial Wardak echoed this sentiment, noting that India is attempting to strengthen its historical ties through cultural, educational, commercial, and political relations while also aiming to counteract the threat posed by groups such as Jaish Mohammad.

In November of the previous year, Farid Momanudzai, the former ambassador of Afghanistan to New Delhi, announced the embassy’s closure due to a lack of cooperation and constant pressure from the host country. However, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs later clarified that the embassy had not closed. More than a week later, Mohammad Ibrahimkail, Consulate General of Afghanistan in Hyderabad, and Zakia Wardak, Consulate General of Afghanistan in Mumbai, assumed control of the embassy’s affairs.