‘Taliban Will Engage With India If Pakistan Doesn’t Forcibly Prevent It’


Germany’s Special Representative On Afghanistan Markus Potzel has met top Indian officials in New Delhi. The Envoy has briefed them on the German-Qatari co-sponsored intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha and expressed the desire for a larger Indian role. India’s ex-Ambassador to Afghanistan Gautam Mukhopadhaya feels the Taliban can’t ignore Afghan public sentiment and goodwill towards India. In a comprehensive interview with SNI Associate Editor Amitabh P Revi he talks about New Delhi dealing with the group now and even if any power sharing deal is reached. The envoy talks about Pakistan’s control over the Taliban, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s U.S. visit and the 7 rounds of talks that have been held with American Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad. Ambassador Mukhopadhaya also speaks about what India’s role should be, an indicative deadline of September 1 for a deal, Presidential polls scheduled for September 28, a possible constitutional vacuum and the worst case scenario of another Afghan civil war.

Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya served as Charge d’affaires in Kabul in 2001-02, as India’s ambassador to Afghanistan from 2010–13. He also served as India’s ambassador to Myanmar from 2013–16; and as ambassador to Syria from 2006–09.