Aiding Afghanistan: On both humanitarian and strategic grounds, India must provide succour to ordinary Afghans

Synopsis: India can opt two-track approach to managing Afghanistan relations under new circumstances.

Introduction

After India’s second official-level contact with the Taliban, the Taliban revealed that India has offered to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

What is the economic situation of Afghanistan?

The Taliban economy is already on the brink of collapse. Its foreign reserves were frozen by the US and IMF. The country is even unable to pay the civil servants and medics salaries for the last few months. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 90% of 2,300 health clinics across Afghanistan are at the risk of shutting down.

Why India should provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan?

India sending aid to Afghanistan is a complicated one as the Taliban government is still not internationally recognized. But India should provide assistance as if the humanitarian crisis worsens in Afghanistan, it will also have an impact on the neighbouring countries. These countries will not only have to deal with refugees but also the security situation in Afghanistan.

Read more: India’s humanitarian missions are guided by Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
What should India do?

India’s attempt to completely bypass the Taliban in aid delivery may not be possible. But it still sends a message that the Taliban needs to work hard to uphold human rights. This two-track approach where ordinary Afghans are helped and the Taliban is also incentivized is the best way forward.

Read more: Implications of the rise of Taliban for India – Explained, pointwise

India could take further steps like restarting the normal processing of medical and student visas for Afghans.

Source: This post is based on the article “Aiding Afghanistan: On both humanitarian and strategic grounds, India must provide succour to ordinary Afghans” published in Times of India on 25th October 2021.

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