Ceiling on gatherings eased to facilitate Independence Day celebrations across Jammu and Kashmir

By PTI

NEW DELHI: As the Taliban announced a caretaker Cabinet, former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said India cannot and should not do business with the government formed in Afghanistan.

The Taliban Tuesday announced a caretaker Cabinet, giving top posts to Taliban personalities who dominated the 20-year battle against the US-led coalition and its Afghan government allies.

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Mullah Hasan Akhund has been named as the Interim Prime Minister, while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who had led talks with the United States and signed the deal that led to America’s final withdrawal from Afghanistan, will be one of two deputies to Akhund.

“India cannot and shd not do business with this Taliban govt in Afghanistan,” Sinha tweeted after the news of the forming of a caretaker government came in.

Sinha’s remarks come weeks after he, in an interview to PTI, said India should be “open-minded” about dealing with the Taliban and suggested that it should open its embassy in Kabul and send back the ambassador.

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Noting that the people of Afghanistan have great love for India while Pakistan is not popular among them, Sinha had said that the Indian government should not conclude that the Taliban will place itself “in Pakistan’s lap” as every country furthers its own interests.

Sinha was the foreign minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government but became a critic of the Modi government and quit the BJP. He is currently vice president of the Trinamool Congress.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid was quoted by media reports as saying that Amir Khan Muttaqi will be Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister while Mullah Yaqoob, son of Taliban’s founder Mullah Omar, will serve as the acting defence minister.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani Network, will serve as acting interior minister in the interim government, the reports said.