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SOURCE: IANS

It has been one year since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August last year. The Islamist group swept back to power after 20 years in the wake of hasty withdrawal of the US forces from the war-torn country.

As the country appeared to be slipping into chaos with the return of the totalitarian Taliban regime, different nations of the world had shut down their missions in Afghanistan. India too had evacuated and closed its embassy in Kabul within two days of Taliban’s takeover of the capital city. India had completely closed its consulates in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Kandahar as well.

However, knowing the geo-strategic importance of Afghanistan, India took a major decision to reopen its mission in the country in June this year and engage with the ruling dispensation.

The decision to open the Indian embassy in Kabul is seen as a major reversal of the government’s policy on engaging with Taliban.

CVoter-IndiaTracker conducted a nationwide survey on behalf of IANS to know if India should give recognition to the Taliban government in Afghanistan as well.

The survey revealed that while Indians were divided in their opinion on the issue, a bigger proportion of respondents – 40 per cent said that India should not recognise the extremist government of Afghanistan.

At the same time, while 28 per cent respondents spoke in favour of giving recognition to the Taliban regime 32 per cent of Indians were clueless.

During the survey, a bigger proportion of both the urban and rural respondents asserted that India should not give sanctity to the Taliban Government.

As per the survey data, 44 per cent of urban respondents and 37 per cent of rural respondents opined that India should not recognise the Taliban regime.

Similar thoughts were shared by respondents of different age groups ranging from those in the 18-24 years age category to those above 55 years of age. As per the survey data, not only a bigger proportion of 38 per cent of young respondents in the 18-24 age groups stressed against giving recognition to the Taliban Government, 41 per cent of respondents above 55 years expressed similar thoughts.