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Release of Indian Engineers – Is India Talking to the Taliban?

Surprise development, the Afghan Taliban released three Indian engineers who were taken hostage six months ago in Baghlan province in exchange for 11 Taliban prisoners, including leaders, from Bagram prison on 06 October

This was confirmed to Tolonews an Afghan media channel by Sayed Mohammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.One of the Indian hostages was released earlier in March.

The freed Taliban members include Sheikh Abdul Rahim, former governor of Kunar, and Maulvi Abdul Rashid Baloch, a former governor of Nimroz.

Significantly Aziz ur Rahman, also known as Ehsanullah, nephew of the Taliban deputy chief Sirajuddin Haqqani has also been released. If the Indians were involved in the negotiations this would have been a major concession given that the Haqqanis are seen close to the Pakistan intelligence agency the ISI.

India has not had any direct engagement with the Taliban having deliberately shunned the group even though all regional countries have held talks with the same..................

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