Gist of Editorials: Next Stage in the Great Game| GS – II


Relevance : GS Paper II (International relations)


Why has this Issue Cropped Up?

International talks with the Taliban leadership has gained momentum.

India’s Involvement in talks with Taliban

In 2017, India protested against being cut out of the talks with Taliban leaders. It then negotiated to join them.

Valid Concerns

  • The last round of talks appeared to be held on the Taliban’s terms.
  • Agreements on ceasefire have now been made the last priority.
  • These talks have ignored the democratically-led government in Kabul.
  • The talks continue without acknowledging a role for India.
  • Taliban continues to carry out terror attacks in Afghanistan even during talks.
  • The prospect of chaos and civil war after the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan.

Can History be Repeated in Afghanistan?

  • Taliban would now not be able to overrun and hold any Afghan city as it did before.
  • Given social media and the progress in education, Taliban will not be able to control Afghans now.
  • Taliban can’t harm Indian interests in the country, given the special place India enjoys, amongst Afghans..

Way Forward

  • Direct talks between India and the Taliban at this point would serve little purpose.
  • India must leverage its influence to ensure a post-reconciliation vision among various sections.
  • India is host to a sizeable population of Afghans and an outreach is important.
  • Both India and Pakistan have a shared responsibility in Afghanistan post-reconciliation.
  • India should not lose sight of the bigger picture — it’s longstanding relationship with the people of Afghanistan.

Conclusion

Lack of ambition for the India-Afghanistan relationship would be much more detrimental to India’s interest.