Hours after an official delegation of India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) met Taliban leader Amir Khan Mottaki, the interim government of Afghanistan has expressed interest in sending Afghan soldiers for training in India.
In an exclusive interview with CNN News18, the Defence Minister of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Yaqoob was asked whether he will be willing to send Afghan soldiers for training in India. Yaqoob is the son of former Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.
“Yes, we don’t see any issue with it. Afghan-India relations get strengthened and set the ground for this. There will be no issues with it,” he had remarked. The Afghan Defence Minister was also asked whether he will be open to integrating Afghan officers who are currently residing in India and trained by the Indian Military Academy.
“We have taken many steps in this regard and have called upon, invited and requested all those Afghans who went to foreign countries. Many of them returned and are working here with their duties,” Yaqoob said.
He further claimed, “Those men who remained here, we are aware of this and call upon them to return. It is Afghan tradition not to desert anyone and we are pledged to this.”
It must be mentioned that India had trained thousands of Afghani security personnel in counter-terrorism, jungle warfare, signals, intelligence gathering, information technology besides other tailored capsule courses.
On average 700 to 800 Aghan soldiers used to receive training at various military establishments in India including OTA, IMA and National Defence Academy at Khadakwasla (Pune), Vairengte (Mizoram) among others.
Taliban takes over Afghanistan
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban entered Kabul and overthrew the USA-backed government. The Afghan forces surrendered without showing any resistance. Leaders such as Ashraf Ghani fled the conflict-torn country.
On September 7 last year, the Taliban announced the names of cabinet members of the interim government, which would rule the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ till a permanent government was constituted.
It was declared that Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund would be the acting Prime Minister and have two deputies, namely, Mullah Abdus Salam and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.