Kabul: The Taliban has welcomed India's decision to return their technical team to its embassy in Kabul to continue humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.
"Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (lEA) welcomes decision by India to return diplomats & technical team to their embassy in Kabul to continue their relations with the Afghan people and their humanitarian assistance," Taliban spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a statement on Thursday. "The return of Indian diplomats to Afghanistan and reopening of embassy demonstrates that security is established in the country, & all political and diplomatic rights are respected," the statement added.
The Taliban spokesperson further assured security for all existing embassies in line with international diplomatic practices. "IEA calls on other countries to return to their diplomatic compounds and reopen their embassies," it added.
On Thursday, India announced that a technical team has been deployed to the Embassy in Kabul to coordinate the efforts of stakeholders for the delivery of humanitarian aid.
"In order to closely monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders for the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and in continuation of our engagement with the Afghan people, an Indian technical team has reached Kabul today and has been deployed in our Embassy there," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a release.
Recently, another Indian team visited Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and met with senior members of the Taliban. During the visit, an assessment of the security situation was also carried out.
The longstanding links of India with the Afghan society and the development partnership between the two countries including humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan, will continue to guide the approach going forward, MEA said.
In order to support Afghanistan, the first consignment of India's earthquake relief assistance reached Kabul on Thursday.
The consignment has been handed over by the Indian team to support the Afghan nationals affected by the earthquake, which will further be followed by another consignment.
"First consignment of India's earthquake relief assistance for the people of Afghanistan reaches Kabul. Being handed over by the Indian team there. Further consignment follows," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.
This support was extended after an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 shook parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Wednesday claiming more than 1000 lives.
The earthquake struck in the early hours of this morning near the city of Khost in the southeastern part of the country with the most affected areas being in Spera District in Khost Province, and Barmala, Ziruk, Naka and Gayan districts in Paktika Province.
The disaster comes as Afghanistan continues to struggle with a severe economic crisis since the Taliban took over, as US-led international forces withdrew following two decades of war.