In the wake of abduction of an Indian citizen by unknown miscreants in the capital city of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in New Delhi has been in touch with the new Taliban government in Kabul.
“We are in touch with all concerned. We have seen reports about local authorities undertaking investigations into this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation," Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told journalists in New Delhi.
Bansri Lal Arendeh was purportedly kidnapped at gunpoint in Kabul on Tuesday.
Bagchi said that he was “given to understand” that Arendeh was a citizen of India but the government was in the process of checking his citizenship status. Arendeh’s family lives at Faridabad in Haryana. He has been engaged in business in Kabul for the last two decades.
The Taliban has announced a government in Kabul after taking over Afghanistan through a military offensive across the country – taking advantage of the withdrawal of troops by the United States and its NATO allies. New Delhi’s envoy to Doha, Deepak Mittal, had a meeting with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s political office in the capital of Qatar, on August 31. It was New Delhi’s first publicly-acknowledged contact with the Taliban in 22 years.
New Delhi did not make it clear if it would recognize the new Taliban Government in Kabul, but the kidnapping of Arendeh apparently prompted it to acknowledge that it was in touch with the authorities in the capital of Afghanistan.
Though India could evacuate most of its citizens willing to leave Afghanistan, some are still left in the country. "Till now operations at Kabul airport is not resumed, it is difficult to say how to bring them back. Our focus is that operations at Kabul airport resume. Then, it will be easier for us to bring back the people," Bagchi said.
New Delhi had evacuated its envoy to Kabul, Rudrendra Tandon, and 175 other officials posted in the Embassy of India in Kabul on August 17.