Why in news?
After a closer look at the texts of the two agreements named the
- ‘Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognised by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban, and the United States of America’, and
- The ‘Joint Declaration between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan’
Diplomatic and security experts say the impact on India may be a cause for worry for the government.
All Taliban demands have been front-loaded, while the actual terms of the ‘peace deal’ are yet to be negotiated between the Taliban and the Afghan side, facilitated by the U.S. So, much of the heavy lifting remains.
Does the term “U.S. and Allies” include India?
- In the Doha agreement, the Taliban has guaranteed “enforcement mechanisms that will prevent the use of the soil of Afghanistan by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies”.
- However, it is unclear whether India, which is not a U.S. ally, is included in this definition, and whether Pakistan backed groups that threaten India would still operate in Afghanistan.
- The Kabul declaration with the Ghani government, more specifically, commits to stopping “any international terrorist groups or individuals, including al-Qa’ida and ISIS-K, from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States, its allies and other Countries.
Impact of prisoner release and lifting sanctions
- According to the agreements, 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released by March 10, 2020, the first day of intra-Afghan negotiations, and the remainder in another three months.
- Officials also point out that the U.S. has committed to taking Taliban leaders off the UN Security Council’s sanctions list by May 29, 2020, which could considerably bring down the number of terrorists Pakistan is accused of harbouring, according to the FATF greylist conditions.
- This might benefit Pakistan during the June 2020 FATF Plenary, when it faces a blacklist for not complying.
- In the Doha agreement, The U.S. appears to submit to the possibility of a Taliban-led government, by extracting promises that the Taliban will not provide “visas, passports, travel documents or asylum” to those threatening the U.S. and its allies.
- This sidelines the “Intra-Afghan” dialogue, and India’s support for the election process for leadership in Afghanistan.
- India cannot look at the agreements or the route to Kabul via Washington’s view the
- Ghani government, which India has recognised as winner of the 2019 election, will only serve for an interim period.
- This also raises a big question mark on the future of Afghanistan’s government, and whether it will remain a democracy.
- The Afghanistan-Pakistan dialogue facilitated by the U.S. on cross-border terrorism and mechanisms must not cut India out of the region’s security architecture.