Ahead of his participation in a G20 summit about Afghanistan on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the current situation in the neighbouring country over a phone call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday.

Prime Minister Modi has spoken extensively on the Afghanistan situation over the past month, expressing concerns over how the Taliban takeover could affect global terrorism, human rights of women, children and minorities, as well as regional security.

Downing Street said the two leaders agreed on the need to engage with the Taliban, which took over Afghanistan in a shocking coup in August triggering a massive humanitarian crisis in the already war-ravaged country.

“The two leaders… agreed on the need for a coordinated international approach to engagement with the Taliban, emphasising the importance of upholding human rights in the country,” read a handout by the UK government.


Prime Minister Modi has already put forward India’s position on Afghanistan twice in the last one month – first at a summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Afghanistan and most recently at United Nations General Assembly.

During his speech at UNGA on September 25, PM Modi had talked about the danger of regressive thinking and extremism in a veiled attack on Pakistan’s alleged aid to the Taliban. He said some countries were “using terrorism as a political tool”.

“We have to understand that terrorism is an equally big threat to them (countries). It is very important to ensure that the soil of Afghanistan is not used for spreading terrorism and terrorist attacks,” he had said.

He had also expressed concerns over the rights of women and children in Afghanistan as well as minorities, who needed help from the international community.

He had expressed similar views during the more regional SCO summit on Afghanistan on September 17. He said the Taliban rule would have the greatest impact on neighbouring countries like India.

“The representation of all sections of Afghan society, including women and minorities, is also important… It is necessary that the decision on recognition of such a new system is taken by the global community collectively and after due thought,” he had said at the SCO summit.

He had also said there should be strong regional focus on the matter, and that together it must be ensured that the “territory of Afghanistan is not used to spread terrorism in any other country”.


The G20 summit, which is being convened by Italy, comes in the backdrop of the Taliban making an effort to gain international recognition. The military group want to represent Afghanistan in the United Nations, but have faced stiff resistance from accredited Afghan ambassador to the UN Ghulam Isaczai.

Currently, a Taliban delegation led by “acting foreign minister” Amir Khan Muttaqi is in Qatar for talks with several countries, including the US, to persuade them to give international recognition to the group’s government in Kabul. The Taliban is also seeking to lift the freeze on assets worth around $10 billion, seeing as it has taken over in the middle of an economic meltdown in the country.

Prime Minister Modi will talk about response to humanitarian needs, security and the fight against terrorism and human rights in Afghanistan at the G20 summit.

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PM Modi also tweeted about his phone call with Johnson. He said: “Was a pleasure to speak to Prime Minister @BorisJohnson. We reviewed progress on the India-UK Agenda 2030, exchanged views on climate action in the context of the forthcoming COP-26 in Glasgow, and shared our assessments on regional issues including Afghanistan.”

An important part of the agenda of the phone call was a review in the progress to implement Roadmap 2030, which was adopted in May, for India-UK relations.

The two leaders discussed their fight against coronavirus and UK’s recognition of Indian vaccine certification as well as climate change and the upcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow.

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