Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States is taking place in the backdrop of developments in Afghanistan and the challenge faced by the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the two issues are likely to prominently figure in his discussions, a BJP leader said on Thursday.
The Prime Minister's visit to the United States is his first outside the neighbourhood since the outbreak of COVID-19. PM Modi reached Washington early Thursday morning.
Vijay Chauthaiwale, in charge of the foreign affairs department of Bharatiya Janata Party, said on Thursday that the Taliban government in Afghanistan is non-inclusive and the international community must come together to tackle any support that terrorist outfits may get due to the developments in the war-torn country.
He said developments in Afghanistan are a matter of concern and impacts other countries, particularly those in the neighbourhood like India.
"The visit of PM Modi is taking place in the backdrop of developments in Afghanistan while the world is still facing a huge challenge of COVID pandemic. So both the issues are important and not just for India but for the entire world," he said.
He said the "threat of terrorism and extremism emerging out of recent developments in Afghanistan" and ways to tackle challenges posed by COVID-19 are likely to be discussed during Prime Minister's meetings.
Apart from a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have bilateral meetings with his counterparts from some other countries including Japan and Australia. He will take part in the first in-person Quad Summit and address the UN General Assembly. The Prime Minister will also meet US Vice President Kamala Harris. He is also scheduled to meet global CEOs.
He said the international community should evolve a collective strategy on Afghanistan and there was "no difference" between the previous Taliban government and the present one.
"Initially, some people predicted across the world that this time Taliban will be different from the one that the world had seen earlier. But indications coming out of Afghanistan and actions of Taliban's provisional government show that there is no difference between the two," he said.
"The provisional government has proved they are the same except that they have learnt few tricks of social media and are addressing the media. But this government in Afghanistan is non-inclusive," he added.
The BJP leader said extremism and terrorism may gain ground the problem of drug trafficking may also worsen. He said there are apprehensions about terrorist outfits using Afghanistan territory for their nefarious designs.
"All these issues are of deep concern to India and there is a need for an international alliance and collaboration to address these issues," he said.
Referring to the Quad meeting, he said it is of strategic importance because participating countries share common values of "democracy, open society, human rights, opposition to terrorism and have common agenda on climate change".
"The Quad meeting is of huge importance," he said.
Asked about acceptance of India's vaccination certification, Chauthaiwale said India has said that it will be in a position to export COVID-19 vaccines as the production gets ramped up.
"Some countries are following discriminatory policies about travel by Indians. We have always said that there should be a uniform policy. Every country has to take care of the health of its own citizens. There is no denying this fact. But there should be no discrimination," he said. (ANI)