New Delhi: India said on Thursday that the visit of its team to Kabul relates to delivery operations of its humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Addressing a regular media briefing here, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the Indian team will meet senior members of the Taliban and representatives of international organisations who are involved in the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

"A multi-member team headed by Joint secretary JP Singh is in Kabul. The team will meet senior members of the Taliban. They'll also meet representatives of international organisations who are involved in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. This is one focus area," Bagchi said.

He said the Indian team will try to visit places where its programmes are being implemented but did not give further details.

Bagchi also answered queries related to the re-opening of the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan

"Post-August 15 last year, in the light of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, it was decided to bring back all India-based personnel and India-based officials. But local staff have continued to function and ensure proper maintenance and proper upkeep of the premises," he said.

He noted that this is the first such visit to Kabul since the Taliban took over.

On queries about the visit being a pointer to recognition of Taliban dispensation in the future, the spokesperson said that the visit pertains to the humanitarian assistance.

"I think you are reading far too much into this visit. This visit is about humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. We have been providing humanitarian assistance in various forms. The ongoing visit is to oversee the delivery of this assistance," he said.

India announced earlier in the day that it has sent a team to Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of India's humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

The statement said that in response to the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, India has decided to extend humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people. It said that in this endeavour, India has already dispatched several shipments of humanitarian assistance consisting of 20,000 MTs of wheat, 13 tons of medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID Vaccine and winter clothing.

These consignments were handed over to the India Gandhi Children Hospital, Kabul and UN specialized agencies including WHO and WFP. India is in the process of shipping more medical assistance and food grains to Afghanistan.

"In continuation with our developmental partnership with Afghan brethren, we have gifted one million doses of India-made COVAXIN to Iran to administer to Afghan refugees in Iran. We have also assisted UNICEF by supplying almost 60 million doses of polio vaccine and two tons of essential medicines," the MEA statement said.

"India's development and humanitarian assistance has received a widespread appreciation across the entire spectrum of Afghan society. In this connection, the Indian team will meet the senior members of the Taliban, and hold discussions on India's humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan," it added.