The visit was announced by the Indian foreign ministry on Friday, a day after more than 100 people including at least 13 US service members were killed in twin blasts at the Kabul airport. The Islamic State-Korasan group is suspected to be behind the attack
NEW DELHI: The security situation in Afghanistan is expected to be high on the agenda of talks between India and the US as Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla travels to the US next week.
The visit was announced by the Indian foreign ministry on Friday, a day after more than 100 people including at least 13 US service members were killed in twin blasts at the Kabul airport. The Islamic State-Korasan group is suspected to be behind the attack.
India has condemned the blast that happened on Thursday as thousands of Afghans were trying to enter the American-controlled airport, disrupting a final push towards evacuation of people ahead of the 31 August deadline for international forces to leave Afghanistan.
“India strongly condemns the bomb blasts in Kabul today (Thursday). We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the injured. Today’s (Thursday’s) attacks reinforce the need for the world to stand unitedly against terrorism and all those who provide sanctuaries to terrorists," the Indian statement had said.
Shringla will visit Washington for talks with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and others after a stop in New York where he will take part in the last few events that India will be organizing as the president of the UN Security Council for the month of August.
Given the security situation in Afghanistan, from where the US had withdrawn troops sent in after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, in July 2021, after two decade long stay, it is to be expected that there will be some discussion on that, two people familiar with the matter said separately. India and the US have been in close touch over recent weeks since the Pakistan backed Taliban took over Afghanistan on 15 August, given that US forces were in control of the airport used by countries to evacuate their nationals after the Taliban takeover.
Other countries that India has coordinated with include Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters on Friday.
So far India has evacuated 550 people including its own nationals via six flights, he said. Indian nationals have been evacuated by other countries also and brought back to India via third countries, he said.
India’s “overall assessment was that the vast majority of people who have wished to return have been evacuated," Bagchi said adding that some more people could be in Afghanistan.
Bagchi said that owing to the loss of Afghan passports with Indian visas from a passport collection centre in Kabul, Indian authorities were in a state of high alert. This situation could have been responsible he confusion around the deportation of Afghan MP Rangina Kargar, member of the Wolesi Jirga where she represents the Faryab province, who had arrived in New Delhi on 20 August from Istanbul.
When asked if India would recognise a Taliban government, Bagchi said that the “situation on the ground" was “uncertain" and that New Delhi lacked clarity about “any entity" forming a government in Afghanistan.
"We continue to monitor the situation very carefully. It is an evolving situation," he said adding later “The prime concern is the security and safety of the people.... Currently, there is a lack of clarity or no clarity about any entity forming a government in Kabul," he added.
Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.
Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint.
our App Now!!