India's talks with the Taliban have upset Pakistan no end.
Responding to a question on a news programme on Monday (28 June), Pakistan's National Security Advisor, Moeed Yusuf, said India should be 'ashamed' of reaching out to the Afghan Taliban.
"I want to ask this: with what [moral] standing did this Indian high-level official meet [the Taliban] there? Did they not feel ashamed?" Yusuf said when asked how Pakistan viewed the India-Taliban meetings.
"[The Indians] kept having the Taliban killed daily and kept giving funds for operations against them and today they have reached there to have talks," Yusuf, considered close to the Pakistan Army, added.
A visibly upset Yusuf went on to say that the Afghan Taliban, which Indian officials met in Doha earlier this month, are "not stupid".
"You should also ask what response the [Indians] got from the [Taliban]," he added. When asked what the Taliban told India, he said: "Ask them [India] and they will be ashamed more".
For Pakistan, that has been trying to reduce India's presence in Afghanistan for years, opening of communication channels between India and the Taliban is bad news.
Indian officials made a "quiet" visit to Qatar to hold talks with leaders of the Afghan Taliban, which maintains an office in Doha.
The meeting hints at a significant departure from India’s position on talks with the Taliban. New Delhi avoided opening channels of communication with the Taliban for years, but the major changes under way in Afghanistan left it no choice, experts say.
With the withdrawal of US forces currently under way, the success in its onslaught against the Afghan security forces in the battlefield and an upper hand in negotiations in Doha have emboldened the Taliban to seek a bigger slice of the political pie, one that it is very likely to get.
Talks with an ascendant Taliban appear to be a necessity for New Delhi in light of the developments currently under way in Afghanistan.
The meeting in Doha, experts say, signals that New Delhi is willing to accept the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Taliban, too, has been sending conciliatory signals.
Earlier, the Taliban had refuted media reports that it had aligned with Pakistan-sponsored terror groups in Kashmir, saying it “does not interfere in internal affairs of other countries”.
Recently, when asked about India’s role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US forces from the country, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said peaceful coexistence is in the interest of all countries in the region.
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