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08 Sep 2021: CIA chief meets Ajit Doval in Delhi to discuss Afghanistan
National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval met with William Burns, the chief of the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in New Delhi on Tuesday, reports said. The details of the meet have not been officially disclosed, but it was likely focused on security concerns amid the Taliban government formation in Afghanistan. The terror group had announced leaders of their interim government last night.
Details: Burns arrived on Tuesday, will leave for Pakistan today
Burns arrived in the capital city on Tuesday and will leave for Pakistan on Wednesday, according to reports. Notably, he had last month visited Afghanistan to meet the Taliban leadership, including deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Washington Post reported. At that time, the US was carrying out a pullout of its troops, citizens, and Afghan allies.
Context: India, US maintain similar stand on Afghanistan issue
India and the US have maintained a similar stand on the Afghanistan issue, evacuating their embassy staff members and citizens amid the Taliban takeover. However, countries like Russia and Pakistan maintained diplomatic presence there. India says it expects the Taliban not to allow terror groups to target India, especially the former state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Russia: Russian NSA Nikolay Patrushev also in Delhi for talks
Incidentally, the CIA head's visit has come at a time when Russian NSA Nikolay Patrushev is also in Delhi for similar discussions. He met NSA Doval, and will also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the Indian government confirmed. In August, PM Modi had discussed the Afghanistan crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin over a phone call.
Concerns: India concerned about Pakistan's interference in Afghanistan
For India, Pakistan's interference in Afghanistan is a major concern. The neighboring country has been accused of supporting the Taliban and having a hand in their government formation. Pakistan "continues to foment a culture of violence at home and across its borders. We dismiss and condemn all such efforts," Vidisha Maitra of India said at the UN General Assembly.
Situation: Taliban announces members of its interim government
On Tuesday, the Taliban announced some members of its interim government in Afghanistan. Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, a lesser-known leader of the group, has been named the interim Prime Minister and Abdul Ghani Baradar his deputy. The Taliban took control of the Afghan capital Kabul on August 15 and recently claimed the province of Panjshir, the last one holding out against it.
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