Senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai said the group wants to continue Afghanistan’s political, economic and cultural ties with India.
New Delhi. Since the occupation of Afghanistan, the Taliban has been constantly talking about building better relations with India. Several times its spokespersons have insisted that the group wants to grow closer to India. Meanwhile, senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai has said that the Taliban wants to continue political, economic and cultural ties with India. This is the first time a top Taliban member has spoken on the issue since the capture of Kabul.
In a nearly 46-minute video posted on the Taliban’s social media platform on Saturday, Stankzai talked about the Taliban’s plans to end the war in Afghanistan and create a Sharia-based Islamic administration. He spoke about the Taliban’s views on relations with major countries in the region, including India, Pakistan, China and Russia.
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Taliban spokesman Sohail Shaheen and Zabiullah Mujahid spoke to Pakistani media about the group’s views on relations with India after the Ashraf Ghani government collapsed on August 15. However, Stankzai is the first senior leader to make a statement on relations with other countries. He says that India is very important for this subcontinent. Stankzai said, we want to continue our cultural, economic and trade ties with India as in the past.
He said that trade with India through Pakistan is important for us. Outlining Taliban’s plans for trade in the region, he said, trade with India through air corridors will also remain open. Significantly, Pakistan has allowed Afghan traders to ship their goods to India through its territory, but has never allowed Indian goods to be taken to Afghanistan via Pakistani soil.