Question -2: India should maintain with Afghanistan a policy of engagement rooted in realism. Explain
Answer: India sent a diplomatic mission to Afghanistan, a major policy shift by the government to continue engagement with militant group Taliban. In the 1990s, India had taken a policy of disengagement with Kabul and supported antiTaliban militias.
India has made investments worth billions of dollars in the past 20 years. It would want to protect these investments and retain the Afghan people’s goodwill.
India’s involvement after Taliban’s return
New Delhi sent humanitarian assistance, including wheat, COVID19 vaccines and winter clothes, to Afghanistan when the country was facing a near total economic collapse.
Why change in India’s stance?
- Afghanistan’s internal situation and the regional dynamics seem to be different, prompting many neighbouring countries to adopt a more constructive line towards the Taliban regime, despite their differences with the group’s extremism.
- The Taliban remaining a Pakistani satellite forever is not in India’s strategic interest.
- India wants to maintain good ties and in return would want commitments from the Taliban that they would not offer support for antiIndia groups.
India should not hurry in to offer diplomatic recognition to the Taliban’s predominantly Pashtun, men only regime, which has imposed harsh restrictions on women at home.
Thus, India should work with other regional and global players to push the Taliban to adopt a more inclusive regime, while at the same time maintaining a policy of gradual bilateral engagement rooted in realism.
Tags: GS 2 (International relations)
By – Prashant Tiwari