ISSN 2330-717X

Indo-US Rapprochement With Afghanistan’s Islamic Emirate – OpEd

By

In April, India and the United States released a joint statement in which they urged the Taliban to uphold human and women’s rights. In addition to this, they urged the Taliban to prevent Afghanistan from providing assistance to terrorists or sheltering terrorists. After then, a meeting between the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and high-level Indian officials took place one month later. Additionally, representatives from both nations met with Abdullah Abdullah, who was carrying a special message from the Taliban. The message was given by Abdullah Abdullah. On June 2, 2022, India made its first formal journey to Afghanistan, which occurred shortly after the Taliban had won control of the country.

Advertisement

Recent events have shown that India and the United States have started to recognise and act on their shared strategic interests in Afghanistan under the authority of the Taliban. Both nations have continued to keep an active line of communication open with the Islamic Emirate. They think that their limited participation will serve their national interests, encourage the Taliban to change, and avert total catastrophe in Afghanistan, despite the fact that diplomatic recognition is no longer an option.

Throughout the course of the previous two decades, India has kept up healthy diplomatic ties with each succeeding administration in Afghanistan. It did this while simultaneously establishing a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan and making significant investments in Afghanistan. According to the available historical records, India has a long tradition of maintaining a non-cooperative stance toward the Taliban and has on multiple occasions urged the international community to refrain from acknowledging and normalising the Taliban’s affiliations. India also has a history of calling for the international community to avoid normalising the Taliban’s affiliations. 

India has opposed the peace process at every level and in every international venue, including the United Nations, even after the United States launched dialogue with the Taliban. It is quite clear that New Delhi has never made a meaningful contribution to the peace talks that have been going on between the United States and the Taliban; rather, it has acted as a stumbling block to prevent the conversations from continuing. By continuing to provide financial support to anti-Pakistan terrorist organisations and forces, the government and agencies of India proceeded to undermine the fragile peace that had been established in the region. Despite the fact that public announcements suggest that the visit is intended to address humanitarian problems, India, a regional nation, has a covert objective of forging relations with the new Taliban leadership. This is despite the fact that India’s visit is intended to address humanitarian concerns.

In the realm of international politics, it is a commonly held belief that neither allies nor foes can be considered permanent. Realist paradigm adherents assert that a state’s nature is inherently selfish due to the fact that human nature is inherently selfish. As a result, a state’s behaviour is dictated by the interests of its citizens. The legendary conflict of Taiban, which took place in the past and was won by the underdog, is well known throughout India. Following the political transition in Kabul, Delhi is now in a very difficult position. 

India has achieved its strategic and political goals in Afghanistan via investments and other operations that have benefited from its tight relations to the US-led Ashraf Ghani administration. This has allowed India to achieve its goals in Afghanistan. The United States is said to have provided assistance to India in the process of establishing a relationship with the Taliban administration, as stated by several news sources. India has been making efforts to build ties with the Taliban in an effort to reclaim their former power and further its own strategic goals.

Advertisement

The geostrategic importance of Afghanistan, as well as its abundant natural resources, draw the attention of regional and international powers. If diplomatic connections are not formed with the Taliban, India’s geopolitical and economic goals in Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics (CARs) would not be able to be accomplished. This is because India has to work with the Taliban. India recognises Afghanistan as an important market for commercial activity as well. Furthermore, if Delhi’s relations with China and Pakistan improve, it will create opportunities to grow commerce with the CARs and beyond; as a result of this, policy modifications will put a higher emphasis on the protection of economic interests.

They hope that by working together with the Taliban, they would be able to thwart or challenge China’s ambitions to dominate the area while still preserving their economic interests. The current government in the area has a pressing need for the financial and humanitarian assistance that Indian lawmakers are hoping to get. As a result of the United States’ exit, Russia and China have emerged as the two key actors who are making use of the increased space granted to other regional and extraregional nations. India, a major strategic ally of the United States in the area, will help to contribute to restricting China and Russia’s rising influence in Afghanistan. This is important since India is located in the region.

Pakistan’s primary fear is that India’s presence in Afghanistan under the guise of providing humanitarian assistance would reawaken Pakistan’s dormant sleeper cells associated with its terrorist networks. Under the former administration in Kabul that was favourable to India, the government of Delhi and the agencies under its control provided assistance for and supervised a terrorist network in Afghanistan in order to carry out subversive operations against Pakistan. When the Taliban finally took control of Kabul, however, insurgent activity in India came to an end. During the time of the previous Kabul administration, India made an effort to obtain access and influence inside the Afghan National Army by giving training to its soldiers. By assisting the Taliban with military training and attempting to influence military leaders, India hopes to get a foothold in their armed forces. It is crucial that regional players strive toward a greater institutionalisation of development cooperation in Afghanistan. This is especially important in light of the current uncertain context surrounding global security. Cooperation in the region is need of the hour for collective peace and prosperity.

The author holds an M.Phil from National Defence University and freelance writer and can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.