India has sent a team of foreign ministry officials to Afghanistan's capital of Kabul for talks with senior members of the ruling Taliban, the ministry said on Thursday, the first such meeting since the chaotic US withdrawal last year.

Poverty and hunger have rocketed in the strife-torn nation since the Islamist militants took power last year after the United States withdrew.

“The Indian team will meet the senior members of the Taliban, and hold discussions on India's humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan,” the ministry said in a statement.

The officials would oversee delivery of humanitarian assistance and visit areas targeted by Indian-backed programmes or projects, it added.

India has donated about 20,000 tonnes of wheat, 13 tonnes of medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine and winter clothing, with more medicine and foodgrain on the way, it said.

The South Asian nation pulled its officials out of Afghanistan last August and closed its embassy, although New Delhi is keen to retain ties with the country.

Last month the ministry said it had no information on when the embassy would re-open.

Opinion

Editorial

Beyond the pale
Updated 09 Aug, 2022

Beyond the pale

When such ugliness is unleashed, everyone at some point suffers the fallout.
Burying Gaza
09 Aug, 2022

Burying Gaza

IT is a sad commentary on the politics of the Middle East that even its most tragic human stories get defaced and...
Celebrate the athlete
09 Aug, 2022

Celebrate the athlete

TALK about delivering on your promise: javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem did that in the grandest style at the...
An unseemly dispute
08 Aug, 2022

An unseemly dispute

THERE is clarity, but perhaps not of the kind that Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial hoped to achieve when...
Unfair on taxpayers
Updated 08 Aug, 2022

Unfair on taxpayers

Unfair move has drawn valid criticism as it coincides with drastic increase in income tax on salaried people and corporates.
Polio nightmare
08 Aug, 2022

Polio nightmare

AS if the resurgence of polio in southern KP were not enough, officials and international monitoring bodies must now...