Taliban forcefully captured
Afghanistan; says BJD leader

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NEW DELHI: The Taliban are a conglomeration of a few terrorist groups and India has never compromised with a terrorist organisation, said Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya on Thursday.

Acharya said that the BJD will be attending the all-party meeting called by the Central government today to discuss the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in the war-ravaged country. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will brief the floor leaders of all the political parties on development in war-torn Afghanistan.

Speaking to ANI on the meeting called by the Centre, Acharya appreciated the government’s gesture and affirmed that the BJD is going to attend the meeting.

BJD Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya

The BJD leader termed the situation in Afghanistan ‘precarious and alarming’ and the Taliban ‘a conglomeration of a few terrorist groups’. “Taliban have forcefully captured Afghanistan. India has always had a policy to never compromise with a terrorist organisation,” he said.

Acharya added that Afghanistan being India’s neighbouring country, the current situation in Afghanistan has a huge impact on India.

“The leaders of Pakistan ruling party are openly declaring that Taliban will intervene in Kashmir and hand it over to Pakistan. Though it seems funny on the surface, we need to take such statements seriously,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Indian government is evacuating its citizens from the war-ravaged country as the Taliban entered the presidential palace in the Afghan capital on August 15 and declared its victory over the government after months of violence in Afghanistan.

Janata Dal (United) leader Rajiv Ranjan Prasad

Meanwhile, Janata Dal (United) leader Rajiv Ranjan Prasad on Thursday said that the Central government must ensure that the Afghan soil is not used by any country for terrorist activities before starting any diplomatic relation with Afghanistan where the Taliban has seized control last week.

While speaking to ANI on the all-party meeting on the Afghanistan situation today, the JDU leader said, “The current situation of Afghanistan is very challenging. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  They want consensus inside the country because our 200 people are still stuck in Afghanistan and till date, 800 people have been airlifted. There are many Afghan nationals who want to come to India.”

Prasad further said he hopes that today’s meeting will bring some productive results.

“Before we start any diplomatic relation with Afghanistan it must be ensured that the Afghan soil is not used by any country for terrorist activities. The security of our investments and projects must be ensured. India should not be left out in Afghanistan due to the influence of China and Pakistan. We expect today’s meeting will bring productive results,” he added.

Janata Dal (United) leader Rajiv Ranjan Prasad

The Centre has called for an all-party meeting at 11 am on Thursday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in the war-ravaged country.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will brief the floor leaders of all the political parties.

This comes after the Opposition parties asked the government to issue a statement on the Afghanistan crisis.

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge will be present at the meeting.

This comes at a time when the Indian government is evacuating its citizens from the war-ravaged country as the Taliban entered the presidential palace in the Afghan capital on August 15 and declared its victory over the government after months of violence in Afghanistan.

India, on August 17, had also announced that it would issue an emergency e-visa to Afghan nationals who want to come to the country in view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured power there.

India has evacuated 626 people including 228 Indian citizens from Afghanistan till Tuesday, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

“626 people including 228 Indian citizens have been evacuated from Afghanistan till now. The number of Afghan Sikhs who have been evacuated is 77,” Puri had informed earlier.

Earlier, PM Narendra Modi asked the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to brief floor leaders of all political parties on the recent developments in Afghanistan.

On August 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and instructed all concerned officials to undertake all necessary measures to ensure the safe evacuation of Indian nationals from Afghanistan in the coming days. (ANI)