Foreign Minister Asked If India Is In Touch With Taliban

India is following the events in Afghanistan "very carefully" and the focus is on ensuring the security and safe return of Indian nationals who are still in the war-torn country, Foreign Minister Dr. S Jaishankar told reporters in New York on Wednesday. Asked how India views and deals with the Taliban leadership, he said it is still "early days", not offering direct comment on whether or not India was in touch with the Taliban.

"At this point of time, we are looking at the evolving situation in Kabul... as Taliban and its representatives have come to Kabul and I think we need to take it from there," he added when asked whether India has had any communication with Taliban in the recent days.

Asked whether India will continue its investments and engagement in Afghanistan, the minister said the "historical relationship with the Afghan people" continues. "

That will guide our approach in the coming days. I think at this time, these are early days, and our focus on safety and security of the Indian nationals who are there," he added.

Addressing reporters after a meeting of the UN Security Council, Dr. Jaishankar said the situation in Afghanistan is "really what has been very much the focus of my own engagements here, talking to the UN Secretary-General and other colleagues who are here as well as the US Secretary of State."

"At the moment we are, like everybody else, very carefully following developments in Afghanistan. I think our focus is on ensuring the security in Afghanistan and the safe return of Indian nationals who are there," he said.

India has assured that it would repatriate Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that the country will stand by its friends and allies in the war-torn country, which many are desperate to leave.

On Tuesday, India evacuated the last of its staff from the embassy in Kabul including the ambassador and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel who were in charge of security. The pullout took place amid a curfew declared by the Taliban, which made took over Kabul on Sunday.

Dr. Jaishankar had reached New York on Monday for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan. India - a non-permanent member of the Security Council - holds its Presidency for this month.

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