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‘Is Taliban a terrorist organisation or not?’: Omar Abdullah asks Union govt

'If It Is Not, Will You Move To The United Nations To Delist It As A Terror Organisation,' He Said, Questioning That If The Taliban Is A Terror Outfit, Then Why Is The Government Engaging With It In Qatar.

Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah. Photo: PTI

 A day after India officially talked to the Taliban, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday asked the Union government to clarify whether or not it considered the outfit a terror organisation.

“Either Taliban is a terror organisation or it is not. Please clarify to us how you (GoI) see the Taliban,” the National Conference vice-president told reporters after an Indian representative in Doha met a Taliban leader on Tuesday.

This was the first officially acknowledged meeting when Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai and conveyed India’s concerns that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism.

“Is the Taliban a terrorist organisation and if it is not, will you move to the United Nations to delist it as a terror organisation. Right now, you (India) are presiding over the UN Security Council,” Abdullah, who has been a minister of state for External Affairs during Vajpayee’s tenure, said.

Citing media reports, he questioned that if the Taliban is a terror outfit, then why is the government engaging with it in Qatar.

“They are engaging Taliban. It is in today’s news that you are talking to each other in Qatar. If you are talking to them, why are you asking this question to me,” he said.

He was replying to a question whether India should engage with the Taliban and give it a chance.

“Either the Taliban is a terror organisation or it is not. Please clarify how you (GoI) see the Taliban,” the NC vice-president asked the Union government.

He further asked how does one distinguish the Taliban from other terrorist outfits. “If it is not a terrorist organisation, please move in the UN to remove it from the list of terror organisations. Let its bank accounts start functioning, let us not treat them differently,” Abdullah said.

The former chief minister said there should not be different yardsticks for different terror organisations.

“If they are a terror organisation, why are you (GoI) talking to them? If they are not a terror organisation, why are you banning their bank accounts. Why are you not recognising their government? Make up your mind,” he said.