Why in News?
- Afghanistan’s president Mr. Ashraf Ghani concluded a successful visit to India recently
- India is considering to scale up security ties with Afghanistan by:
– training Afghani forces
– supplying military hardware
- This is a shift of India’s stand on role in Afghanistan for only providing development assistance
- India has offered Afghanistan an assistance package of $1 billion
- India has been the 5th largest donor to Afghanistan providing development reconstruction assistance of $2 billion since 2001
- The recent asylum request of Balochi leader Brahamdagh Bugti in India
All this makes it a very prominent area of questioning in the mains exam. This discussion throws light on vital points that can be used as strong arguments in the answer.
Is a Strategic Convergence evolving between India and Afghanistan?
- For the ‘Strategic Partnership Agreement’, India has always been the first choice for Afghanistan
- Afghanistan’s political leadership has always supported this idea, however it could not be fructified then due to political hurdles by the Indian political leadership
- Now, the government of India is keen to move with Afghanistan on such a strategic partnership agreement
Is the Present policy of Afghanistan a break from the past or is not its continuation?
- Yes, to some extent, however after the election of current President Mr. Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan has been trying to deepen its relations with Pakistan first keeping India aside
- This policy of Afghanistan has clearly failed in achieving its objectives and thus the time is ripe to strengthen India-Afghanistan ties which clearly Afghanistan also seeks to
What could be the reason of going beyond India’s earlier stand with respect to the role in Afghanistan, by proving military hardware to the country?
- It is a part of the strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan
- Thus there is nothing which is out of consensus between the two countries strategically
- The point of correlation also lies in the common hostility of Pakistan with Afghanistan and India
- However there are concerns that if Pakistan reverses its course towards Afghanistan, will Afghanistan turn to Pakistan again, as it did when President Ashraf Ghani came to power initially?
- Thus, along with being cautious, India also needs to welcome Afghanistan and not show any inhibitions at this stage
Should India be willingly getting engaged in the Afghan civil war?
- Afghanistan has changed dramatically in the last 20 years
- Taliban has been limited to just certain pockets of the country and definitely is kept away from the prominent power centers such as Kabul
- However, India needs to relook if it needs to design its policy relations with Afghanistan by being influenced from Pakistan or pursue its own independent policy
Effect on Pakistan
- Pakistan has always maintained that India’s closeness with Afghanistan will add to its disadvantage
- Some say that as India is for Nepal, so is Pakistan for Afghanistan
- But this is factually incorrect as the policies of India with Nepal are peaceloving, developmental and entrust faith on Nepalese people. It is the opposite with the role of Pakistan in Afghanistan
- The dilemma on the part of Afghan leadership is that, while it seems impossible to resolve Afghanistan’s internal conflict without Pakistan, it is also a fact that Pakistan’s past record of creating unrest within Afghanistan is very discouraging
- It is to note here that the development of Chabahar port in Iran will provide an alternative to Afghanistan for the Pakistan’s port facilities
- It is a common aspect in many respects
- The terrorists are being manipulated and trained in Pakistan and sent outwards to both sides of the Pakistan border
- The aim in Afghanistan is to destabilize the state and its control
- The aim in India is to destabilize and control of Jammu and Kashmir region
- Thus they are similar in objectives and methods
Role of United States
- From the past 2 years it has been trying to hold its stand keeping the unity government in Afghanistan
- It is hoped that the new administration of the US would help Afghanistan in stabilizing itself
- However it is thought to be a temporary shift
Future Course of Action
- India should not worry about Afghanistan’s internal crisis as it is very unpredictable
- It should be guided by India’s independent policy as our ties with Afghanistan are very historical
- As India has been primarily involved in the development work in Afghanistan, thus as long as Afghanistan has a government which is interested in maintaining peace, sovereignty and territorial dignity, it will help in furthering ties with India
Terrorism has been a common menace for both India and Afghanistan. Discuss how this problem can be handled by mutual cooperation. What can be the impact of such a cooperation on India-Pakistan relations? (250 words)