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India will “continue to be guided” by its friendship with the Afghan people, said the government, remaining non-committal on renewed questions of whether it would open direct talks with the Taliban.

India’s Current Position on Afghanistan

  • India has asserted that it has its own perspectives on Afghanistan, and the traditional and neighbourly ties with the people of Afghanistan will continue to guide our Afghanistan policy.
  • External Affairs Ministry officials declined to comment on whether India would change its long-held position of dealing only with the elected government in Kabul, while considering the Taliban a terrorist organisation backed by Pakistan.
  • While India has not opposed the U.S.-Taliban talks, it has NOT been a part of the reconciliation process, and has pushed for an “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled” process for peace.

Concerns for India with the U.S. – Taliban Peace deal

  • The U.S.-Taliban peace deal means that the Taliban, which has not let up on violent attacks on the Afghan Army, will become more potent as the U.S. withdraws soldiers from the country, and will hold more sway in the inter-Afghan process as well, as the U.S. withdraws funding for the government in Kabul.
  • India’s presence inside Afghanistan, which has been painstakingly built up since 2001, is being threatened anew by terror groups such as the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), believed to be backed by Pakistan’s establishment.
  • Afghanistan is a strategic investment for India, and India has made significant contributions to the rebuilding of the country. India’s assistance of more than $3 billion in projects, trade of about $1 billion, a $20 billion projected development expenditure of an alternate route through Chabahar, as well as its support to the Afghan National Army, bureaucrats, doctors and other professionals for training in India should assure it a leading position in Afghanistan’s regional formulation.

India’s terms would be revolving around:

  1. Taliban commitments on India’s strategic projects, and Chabahar port,
  2. The safety of minorities, women’s education
  3. Terrorism, where no Afghan soil could be used by anti-India groups.

Click Here to Read More About the U.S. – Taliban Deal

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024