The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
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India keen to expand political & trade relations with Afghanistan

Afghanistan Ministry ofForeign Affairs spokesperson has said that India is keen to build political and economic relations with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA). Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate, has written a post on X that J.P Singh, the joint secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs for the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran (PAI) division met with acting minister of foreign affairs Mawlavi Amir Khan Muttaqi, discussing Afghanistan-India relations, economic and transit matters and security. Balkhi said that Singh expressed India’s interest in expanding relations and trade with Kabul. “Today, the Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary of the Republic of India for Afghan istan-Iran-Pakistan, J.P Singh, called on IEA-Foreign Minister Mawlavi Amir Khan Muttaqi. The meeting focused on in-depth discussions on bilateral AfghanistanIndia relations, economic and transit matters, fighting ISKP and corruption in the country,” Afghanistan ministry of foreign affairs’ spokesperson, Abdul Qahar Balkhi posted on X. He claimed that India is interested in expanding political and economic cooperation with Afghanistan. “Singh said that India is interested in expanding political and economic cooperation with Afghanistan, and enhancing trade via Chabahar Port,” he added. Balkhi said that Muttaqi urged the senior Indian diplomat to facilitate the visa issuance process for Afghanistan citizens. “Extending gratitude to India for its humanitarian assistance, FM Muttaqi said that in line with our balanced foreign policy, IEA seeks to strengthen political and economic relations with India as an important actor in the region. In the end, FM Muttaqi urged India’s Joint Secretary to facilitate the visa issuance process for Afghan businessmen, patients and students,” he added. India has not yet recognized the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan. New Delhi had withdrawn its officials from the embassy after the Islamic Emirate takeover. In June 2022, however, India deployed a technical team to its embassy in Kabul, re-establishing its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. India does not have a shared border with Afghanistan, but the country is connected with Afghanistan in several ways, and it has always tried to expand its bilateral and trade relations with Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate has repeatedly assured the whole world, including India, in the last two and half years that the territory of Afghanistan will not be used against any country, nor does it have a policy of hostile behavior towards any country. Based on this assurance, many countries in the region and the world have entered into interaction with the Islamic Emirate. In the past two and half years, India has adopted a (watch-andwait policy) and has not expanded relations with the Islamic Emirate. During the period, India was studying the policy of the Islamic Emirate, and now it seems that the country is sure about the policies of the Islamic Emirate; therefore, it has decided to establish official relations with the Islamic Emirate. India, in 2021, helped 50,000 metric tons of wheat to the Afghan people, 1.6 tons of medicine with Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in December of the same year, 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to prevent the coronavirus, and provided 27 tons of emergency aid to the victims of the Paktika earthquake, including tents and blankets. It can also be said that India’s humanitarian aid diplomacy towards the Islamic Emirate has been effective and this has encouraged the Islamic Emirate to work on establishing bilateral relations with India. In the middle of the year 2022, India sent a technical team to its embassy in Kabul in order to manage India’s humanitarian aid to the Islamic Emirate. However, this technical team sometimes meets the leaders of the Islamic Emirate and this has had a positive effect on the relations between the two countries. It is also time that the Islamic Emirate should further assure and convince India in every possible way that its foreign policy is completely independent and based on national and Islamic values and it also wants good relations with India. Besides, the Islamic Emirate should also try to assure India that the territory of Afghanistan will not be used against any country, particularly India. The Islamic Emirate should maintain a balance between India and Pakistan in its foreign policy. India should also enter into the official framework of maintaining relations with the Islamic Emirate and like other regional countries should hand over the Afghan embassy in Delhi to it so that doubts in the relations between the two countries can be removed. To increase trade relations between the two countries, India should provide visa and travel facilities to Afghan businessmen on the one hand, and on the other hand, trade relations should be expanded at the state level. Mashal Noori

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.