Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign secretary is a visit to Kabul after a long time, ahead of the US and the Taliban signing a peace deal on Saturday that will see the downsizing of American troop in Afghanistan, a person familiar with the development said. Shringla is expected to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other senior Afghan leaders and officials, the person cited above said. The visit comes amid the Afghan election commission announcing that Ghani is the winner of the presidential elections last year but his main political opponent, former chief executive officer Abdullah Abdullah has refused to accept the poll results and announced that he will form a parallel government.
People familiar with the development on Thursday said Indian ambassador to Qatar, P. Kumaran will represent New Delhi on Saturday when the US signs a peace deal with the Taliban to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan, following a partial truce with the rebel group. This will be the first time since 2001 that a serving Indian diplomat will be present in the same room as Taliban representatives. In 2018, New Delhi had sent retired diplomats to a conference hosted by Moscow, where representatives of the Taliban were present. The presence of the Indian ambassador at the signing of the deal is seen as India’s acceptance of the new situation in the region that will bring down the number of troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 from the present 10,000.