Any dialogue with any faction of the Taliban would not serve India's interests in Afghanistan, the Bharatiya Janata Party said here on Monday, indicating that it would oppose such a move.

Party spokesperson Tarun Vijay was commenting on reports suggesting that India could be preparing for a shift in its Afghanistan policy and was perhaps willing to talk to the Hizb-e-Islami group headed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. “If this is correct, the government must explain this to the people,” Mr. Vijay added.

The party's view was that it would be naïve to work on the assumption that the U.S. would soon move out of Afghanistan. While India has invested about $1.2 billion in building infrastructure in Afghanistan, its role was being marginalised by “overpowering U.S. pressure,” the BJP said.

The country must safeguard its interests. But this could not be done by opening a dialogue with the Taliban, which has carried out terror strikes against India, including in Kabul. It was responsible for destroying the Bamiyan Buddhas, was blatantly anti-women, and responsible for medieval style killings.

Mr. Vijay's charge was that Hekmatyar was “an ISI lackey and a rabid India-baiter.” No purpose would be served by starting talks with him at any level.

“While the country is not too sure of what the American Af-Pak policy is, it is time the government explained what its Af-Pak policy is. If a radical shift in policy is being planned, it is the duty of the government to take its people into confidence,” he said.

The Taliban signified darkness. Any move to open a dialogue with it would affect the credibility of the government that was already reeling under the impact of high prices.

Keywords: TalibanBJPAfghanistan

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