"Are Taliban Terrorists Or Not": Omar Abdullah On India-Afghanistan Talks

India yesterday admitted for the first time that it had made contact with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.

'Are Taliban Terrorists Or Not': Omar Abdullah On India-Afghanistan Talks

Omar Abdullah had earlier tweeted criticising the manner of the US forces' withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Highlights

  • Omar Abdullah reportedly asked Centre to make up its mind on the matter
  • If Taliban are a terror group, why is India talking to them, he asked
  • An Indian envoy met a key Taliban diplomat in Doha yesterday
New Delhi:

Former Jammu And Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today took a dig at India initiating talks with Afghanistan's new rulers, the Taliban. He sought clarity on the Union government's approach towards the new regime in the neighbourhood -- whether they are viewed as terrorists or not.

The National Conference leader reportedly asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to make up its mind on the matter.

"Either the Taliban is a terror organisation or it is not. Please clarify how you (the Government of India) see the Taliban...If it is not a terrorist organisation, please move in the UN to remove it from the list of terror organisations. Let its bank accounts start functioning. Let us not treat them differently," Mr Abdullah said.

"If they are a terror organisation, why are you talking to them? If they are not a terror organisation, why are you banning their bank accounts. Why are you not recognising their government? Make up your mind."

The former Chief Minister's comments came a day after India reportedly opened formal diplomatic talks with representatives of Afghanistan's new rulers. India's envoy to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met key Taliban diplomat Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, in at the Indian Embassy in Doha.

Taliban terrorists took power in the strife-hit nation last week following the withdrawal of US-led security forces from that country. Commenting on the massive drawback, Mr Abdullah had tweeted saying, "I don't grudge the US their departure from Afghanistan but this wasn't the way to leave."  

Meanwhile, a day before the Kashmir leader's latest comment, his father, former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, had taken an apparent crack at the Indian government saying it must not delude itself that things were normal in the Union Territory, long known for its insurgency problem.

Laying emphasis on providing enough security to grassroot leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah Senior, said, "These panchayat members are the targets of militants and they need to be protected. Don't live in a cuckoo world and think everything is hunky-dory. We still face militancy and god knows what will happen in future."

He was speaking in the presence of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at an event in Srinagar.