Where India stands on peace in Afghanistan

  • IASbaba
  • October 8, 2020
  • 0
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Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
  • India and its neighborhood- relations

Where India stands on peace in Afghanistan

Context: External affairs minister participating in the September 12 inaugural of the Doha inter-Afghan negotiations

India’s involvement in Afghanistan

India’s has put in considerable effort to rebuild Afghanistan after it was ravaged by Cold War turbulence and Taliban rule. 

  • Built Physical Infrastructure: India has constructed the Afghan parliament, a dam on the Hari Rud River, transmission lines and a power station to bring electricity to Kabul.
  • Supported Social Sector: India has undertaken several small Development Projects for education and health, which has led to improvements in Social indicators of Afghan people at least in certain key pockets of country.
  • Strengthening of Institutions: India has contributed to building institutions, developing human resources, training Afghan public officials and providing the country with a new generation of educated and skilled workers

What has been insinuation levelled against India and is it true?

  • Many in Pakistan insinuate that India is sabotaging the Doha negotiations because India would not like Afghanistan and Pakistan to have good relations.
  • Unlike Pakistan, which fears harmonious ties between India and Afghanistan, India would be quite content with friendship between Pakistan and Afghanistan
  • This is because India understands that after all, the same families, clans and tribes straddle the two sides of their long and porous frontiers.

What does India’s participation in Inter-Afghan talks suggest?

  • The invite to India was an acknowledgement that India has vital interests in Afghanistan.
  • With participation, India has ended the erstwhile ambiguity in its policy.
  • Participation does not suggest that India has now warmed to the Taliban but it underline that India has no reservations in interacting with the Taliban if the Afghan government has none
  • India is now willing to engage with any party committed to peace and stability in Afghanistan. 

What is India’s stand with respect to Afghanistan now?

  • Supports Inclusive Peace Process: India has supported efforts to bring inclusive peace to Afghanistan by advising leaders of different ethnicities to work in cohesion with others for peace and nation-building. 
  • Favours reintegration of opponents: India favours the social and political reintegration of those who give up their physical and ideological association with terrorist groups and instead embrace pluralism and democracy.
  • Continues opposition to Al-Qaeda: India opposes the political accommodation of individuals, groups or Islamist entities associated with the al-Qaeda, the Daesh, and their associates since this will subvert the nascent Afghan democracy, undermine human rights, and destroy emerging Afghan institutions. 
  • US-Taliban Peace Deal: India does not have reasons to worry about the peace deal concluded between US and the Taliban if all Afghans agree that the peace deal safeguards their interests and if they can preserve the gains made in Afghanistan since 2001. 

Way Ahead

  • Involve Iran: While Iran’s foreign minister did not participate because of the presence of the US Secretary of State, a way must be found to involve Iran in the Afghan peace process, which will receive a blow should there be a flare-up between Iran and the US.
  • Peace needed for Region’s Stability: A subverted Afghanistan in the hands of terrorist networks will be a catastrophe for India, the region and the world. For peace in Afghanistan, there should be an immediate ceasefire.
  • Sustained Action to ensure Peace: A ceasefire must be followed by the cessation of sanctuary, sustenance and support to the Haqqani Network, the military arm of the Taliban most closely linked to the Pakistan army, and other like-minded terrorist groups.

Connecting the dots:

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