Afghanistan is considered as ‘Graveyard of empires’. The fall of Alexander (in Bactria), disintegration of USSR, and the decline of US hegemony all seemed to have started in this region. There is an ever-growing perception that it is difficult to come out of Afghan quagmire.
Afghanistan is also a center of ‘great games’.
There has been a strong people to people linkage between India and Afghanistan shaped by history, culture and mutual trust.
India is interested in retaining Afghanistan as a friendly because it serves India’s security and economic interests Afghanistan is tied to India’s vision of being a regional leader and a great power, coupled with its competition with China over resources and its need to counter Pakistani influence
Now, there exists a high-level political engagement with Afghanistan, which is reflected in the large number of bilateral high-level visits from both sides.
In 2005, India proposed Afghanistan’s membership in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
In 2015, when Afghanistan was going through a transition on the political, economic and security fronts, the government of India was quick to reassure Afghanistan of India s long-term support towards its reconstruction and rehabilitation
In 2016, Afghanistan supported India’s boycott of the SAARC summit hosted by Pakistan. This was a major diplomatic victory for India.
India faced many security challenges from the Taliban in Afghan during the 1990s.
Recently India donated three Mi-25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan as part of the bilateral strategic partnership to counter the Taliban
India has played an important role in reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan, making significant investments in technical cooperation and capacity building in the country. India’s support and collaboration extends to the rebuilding of air links, power plants and investing in health and education sectors as well as helping to train Afghan civil servants and security forces.
US policy on Afghan had not been consistent.
A “framework” deal between the US and Afghan Taliban signed at Doha. Washington’s hasty timetable of 18 months to disentangle itself from the Afghan quagmire has narrowed the US’s options. Due to this India is trapped in a strategic blind-spot in Afghanistan.
China’s role in Afghanistan is gradually evolving towards more engagement in various areas.
Iran would want to see a steady hand at the helm in Afghanistan.Iranian Revolution 1979 can be seen as a precursor to Afghan turmoil. Iranian Revolution led to following developments in the region:
After deterioration of US-Iran ties, Iran began to support the Taliban in its borders to ward off US presence from their borders.
In 2017 it supplanted Pakistan as Afghanistan’s largest trading partner.
There are many peace conferences and processes to solve the crisis.
There are a number of indigenous players with regard to Afghan peace process
A) The Taliban group
B) The Haqqani Network –
C) The Afghan Government
D) External Stakeholders
India’s national interests lie in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. Therefore, India should support all initiatives towards improving the security situation in Afghanistan and promoting peace and prosperity in the war-torn country.
A) Impact of US troops withdrawal on India:
B) Impact of US withdrawal on the world:
C) Way forward for India: