Introduction

An Election result that was rejected by Mr. Ghani’s main rival, Abdullah Abdullah led to two simultaneous swearing-ins; both Mr. Ghani and Mr. Abdullah taking oath as President.

It is true that the international community ultimately supported Mr. Ghani but qualified it with an insistence that he enters into a real power-sharing agreement with Mr. Abdullah which just been reached.

India’s exclusion

  • The United Nations Secretariat organised a meeting on Afghanistan where it invited the six current physical neighbours of Afghanistan—China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
  • In addition, invitations were extended to the United States, Russia and the Ghani government, however, India was not invited.
  • Hence, the constructive role New Delhi has played in Afghanistan’s reconstruction since the Taliban were ousted from the country in 2001-2002 after 9/11 did not mean India will get an invitation.
  • The U.S. also went along with India’s Exclusion.
  • It has been noted that despite India’s contributions to Afghanistan’s economic development — and these are undeniably significant covering large parts of the country, and are popular — as well as its long history of contacts with that country, it does not have a place in international diplomacy on Afghanistan.
  • India’s presence was quite significant because Afghanistan impacts on India’s interests, especially its security concerns are crucial.
  • It can also be said that by avoiding open contacts with the Taliban, India has reduced its role in international diplomatic efforts.
  • One side of the argument supporting direct Indian conversation with Taliban is: Contacts and discussions do not mean acceptance of their ways or that their professions of not being Pakistan’s stooges should not have been tested.

Other things at play

That the U.S. is currently crucially dependent on Pakistan for the successful implementation of its Taliban deal aimed at securing as orderly a withdrawal as possible from what is a major strategic reverse for the world’s pre-eminent power is not in doubt.

Echo from the past

  • It is sad that despite all that India has done in Afghanistan over the past 18 years since the Taliban were ousted from Kabul in 2001, it finds itself on the margins of international diplomacy on Afghanistan.
  • It is reminiscent of the time in the 1990s when, at Pakistan’s insistence, India was considered a problem and kept out of crucial global forums on Afghanistan.

-Source: The Hindu

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