Striding back into the Afghan theatre

News: India hosted Third Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan. The dialogue concluded with the Delhi Declaration.

Must Read: Afghan tangle: No easy options for New Delhi, especially given broader threats posed by Beijing, Islamabad
About Delhi Declaration
Read here: Allow unimpeded aid into Afghanistan, say NSAs in Delhi Declaration
What are the challenges in India’s approach towards Afghanistan?

1. India does not completely accept the consequences and realities of the Taliban in power, so Pakistan has a free hand in Afghanistan, 2. The recent meeting does not contribute to addressing the vast challenges that India now faces in its entire western neighbourhood, especially Afghanistan.

What should India do?

India will have to play a multi-faceted diplomatic game to safeguard and promote its interests in Afghanistan and the region. It cannot join the game unless it re-establishes a presence in Kabul.

1. Immediate re-assessment of the regional situation, 2. Develop a comprehensive action with salience given to strategic considerations, 3. Follow ‘all of political and strategic classes’ approach that is unaffected by political considerations of any nature, 4. Keep Indian missions open, for instance, all-important regional players and Russia have kept their missions open in Kabul, 5. As suggested by Taliban leaders, India-Afghan trade via Wagah should be allowed by Pakistan, 6. Enhance India’s assistance to Afghanistan

Note: India offered one million metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan at the Tokyo Afghanistan conference 2002.

Must ReadImplications of the rise of Taliban for India – Explained, pointwise

Source: This post is based on the article “Striding back into the Afghan theatre” published in The Hindu on 15th Nov 2021.

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