After completing their training in India, a batch of Afghan military cadets, who were sent to India before the Taliban came to power, returned home and were cordially welcomed by the Taliban.
The Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun graduated a class of 25 cadets on June 11 who then traveled back to Kabul on Friday.
In a statement from the Defense Ministry, it was announced that the graduated cadets had returned home after finishing an 18-month program of military and professional training at the IMA in India’s Dehradun.
According to the state-run Bakhtar News Agency, officials from the Taliban’s Ministry of Defense received the cadets at the airport with open arms.
“We are soldiers of this soil,” said Sayed Esmatullah, a recently returning cadet, “we longed to graduate so that we could serve our homeland and nation.”
“We are glad to have returned to our homeland,” said Zekriya Ahmadi, another IMA graduate who returned to Afghanistan.
While welcoming these soldiers back to the country, Mufti Rohullah Umar, Head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Defense Ministry of the Taliban, stated that the leadership of the Ministry will use the cadets’ experiences in the professional and specialized military sectors.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs facilitated talks between the Taliban’s Ministry of Defense and the cadets, following an expression of interest requested to arrange direct talks by the Afghan Ministry.
The Indian defense ministry had made arrangements for an extended stay for up to 80 cadets earlier in February after reports of persecution of Afghan security officials.
After “assurances of safety and employment” the cadets, who were trained to fight against the Taliban, returned to the country.
The Taliban official, Umar, stated that cadets returning from countries such as Turkey, Germany, and Azerbaijan have been employed, ensuring their safety and employment.
With the Afghan government collapse to the Taliban, and the issue of safety and employment in Afghanistan under Taliban rule, such training remained a Utopian dream.
However, with the Taliban officials rolling out the red carpet to the newly returned military cadets ensuring their safety and employment, and the good faith of the well-intentioned friend neighbor, India, the dream appears to have come true, allowing for future training.