Question: India must adopt a calibrated approach while dealing with Taliban. Explain stakes for India in peaceful Afghanistan.
Answer: India has shied away from directly dealing with Taliban in the past. In recent times this position has changed and India took initiative to hold talks with the militant group. However, the issue is not as simple as being projected.
Need for calibrated approach
- Taliban’s track record
Taliban has bad track record when it comes to issues such as human rights, women rights, minority rights, democracy etc. India must wait for positive steps by Taliban.
- Breeding ground for terrorism
Just like previous times, Afghanistan must not turn into a breeding ground for terrorist activities. Taliban must take initiative to avoid such incidents.
- Protection of Indian assets
Taliban cannot be considered ‘untouchable’ like previous time. India must know the importance of keeping Taliban in good humour to protect its own assets.
Stakes for India in peaceful Afghanistan
- Leverage in central Asia
By getting hold over Afghanistan, India can participate in central Asian politics. Becoming an active player in world politics is a precursor for future leadership.
- Peaceful south Asia
Peace and stability in Afghanistan will automatically bring peace in South Asia. Countries can put efforts in economic growth rather than meaningless fights.
- Economic prosperity
Trade with Europe will be faster and cheaper by using the Afghan route. For that to take place, the country should become stable. In addition, Afghanistan has vast mineral wealth.
Thus, India must tread a path that involves respect for international laws while keeping its own interests at the back of the mind.