Taliban calls on international community to acknowledge their ‘progress’


In response to U.S. Special Envoy Thomas West’s visit to India, the Taliban has urged the international community to acknowledge their progress. West, during his trip, engaged with Vinay Mohan Kwatra, Indian Foreign Secretary, and JP Singh, Joint Secretary of the Indian Foreign Ministry.

“Great to return to India and connect with close colleagues about the way ahead in Afghanistan,” West remarked. He highlighted that India continues to provide vital humanitarian aid and medicine to Afghanistan, noting discussions on needs for 2024 and the development of a unified diplomatic stance in support of collective interests.

Following the collapse of Afghanistan’s government in August 2021, India withdrew its diplomats but sent a technical team back in June 2022 to resume embassy operations.

The Taliban emphasized the importance of recognizing their developments. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants the international community, when discussing Afghanistan, to also consider our progress, and view the stability and security in the country as an opportunity. We aim to maintain good relations with all countries,” stated Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman.

After the resignation of Afghanistan’s former ambassador Farid Mamundzay, due to alleged pressure from the host country, India entrusted embassy affairs to Sayed Mohammad Ibrahimkhil, Consul General of Afghanistan in Mumbai, and Zakia Wardak, Consul General in Hyderabad, both perceived to be under Taliban influence.

Indian diplomats participated in the “Afghanistan Regional Cooperation Initiatives” in Kabul, with a senior delegation led by JP Singh visiting in March for talks with Taliban officials.

The evolving relationship between India and the Taliban, previously strained, prompts speculation about regional dynamics. “India seeks strategic goals in the region, and an Afghanistan aligned with Pakistan does not serve Indian interests. Conversely, India aims to diminish Pakistan’s influence over its allies,” observed Abdul Hamid Mahmoodi, a university instructor.

Following his India visit, West is slated to travel to the UAE. Afghans interviewed have called on the international community to heed their demands, urging pressure on the Taliban to uphold women’s rights.