India-Afghanistan Relations

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  • Military Deployment in Afghanistan is not in India’s National Interests

    India, as a responsible regional power, should steer Afghanistan towards political stability, security through an inclusive government, economic growth, reconstruction and regional integration, which is what that country needs the most.

    February 22, 2013

    Iran factor in India’s Afghan Policy

    As India plans to stay engaged in Afghanistan beyond 2014, Iran has emerged as a critical component of India’s Afghan policy. Despite US pressures, India needs to adopt a pragmatic approach vis-à-vis Iran and engage it effectively to protect its vital security and geo-political interests in Afghanistan.

    August 24, 2012

    Post-2014 Afghanistan and India’s Options

    India’s policy in Afghanistan must be Afghan-centric and not be concerned about Pakistani efforts to gain strategic depth. In fact, by getting involved in Afghanistan, Pakistan is likely to endanger its own security and stability.

    July 18, 2012

    India's Afghan Policy: Beyond Bilateralism

    The India–Afghanistan relationship is not a simple bilateral engagement. India's Afghan policy is driven by, and is dependent on, many extraneous factors such as India's troubled relationship with Pakistan, its search for a land transit to Central Asia through Iran and Afghanistan and its concerns regarding use of Afghan territory by Pakistan to the detriment of Indian interests. Given the geographical constraints, India has relied on Iran for land access to Afghanistan. This has been complicated by Iran–US relations —the two countries with whom India shares common interests.

    July 2012

    Stabilising Afghanistan: Role of Key Regional Players

    Unless the Central Asian states, China, India, Iran, Pakistan and Russia jointly contribute towards ensuring stability, Afghanistan is likely to fall to the Taliban again or even break up.

    July 02, 2012

    The Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan

    The main objective of the summit is to attract foreign investment in Afghanistan, particularly in the context of emerging opportunities in sectors like mining, hydrocarbons, infrastructure, telecommunications, agriculture, education, health services, etc.

    June 26, 2012

    What lies behind the Taliban statement on India?

    India will remain a card in the hand of any future Afghan dispensation (whether Taliban or anti-Taliban) to strengthen its negotiating position with Pakistan.

    June 21, 2012

    Afghanistan: Bad Options, Worse Outcomes

    The Indian policy establishment needs to start factoring into its security calculus the fallout of a Talibanised Afghanistan and eventually a Talibanised Pakistan.

    March 20, 2012

    Harsha asked: What are the implications of Afghanistan-India treaty, especially in terms of India training Afghan security personal, for the relationship between the two countries, and what are its effects on Pakistan?

    Vishal Chandra replies: First and foremost, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of India have signed an ‘Agreement on Strategic Partnership’ and not a ‘Treaty.’ Secondly, it is reflective of the aspirations of the two sovereign states to further build on their ties in keeping with their mutual interests. The Agreement essentially suggests that the two friendly neighbouring countries wish to further institutionalise and consolidate their cooperation in various sectors critical to the future of Afghanistan. It simply reiterates India’s commitment as a development partner of the Afghan people, even as uncertainty over the future of Afghanistan grows. The Agreement is, thus, in continuation of India’s effort since 2001 to help build Afghan capacities so that Afghans can take control of their own affairs. The timing of the agreement, however, assumes significance as it comes at a time when Afghanistan is passing through a crucial phase of ‘transition’ whereby the Western forces are handing over the security responsibilities to their Afghan counterparts.

    The point pertaining to India assisting in the training of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) has to be seen as part of India’s overall effort to build Afghan capacities. The document is by no means military-centric and does not refer to any bilateral security arrangement or treaty. A clear distinction must be made here between deployment of troops for military operations and providing assistance in building up the capacities of an army or police. These are entirely two different things and should not be confused or mixed up with each other.

    India has time and again made it clear that it has no intention of deploying its military on Afghan soil. Perhaps, India, along with several other countries, would be contributing towards building up the Afghan military, most likely by training Afghan military officials at its own institutions in India, who in turn would be expected to train and mentor the Afghan forces. Several Asian countries too are assisting in rebuilding the capacities of the Afghan military. It is for Afghanistan to decide as to how it intends to deal with its internal and external challenges. Indian aid and assistance is in accordance with the wishes of the Afghan government and people.

    A Rejoinder to John R. Schmidt, 'Pakistan’s Alternate Universe'

    Whatever John R. Schmidt’s aims, the arguments that he has employed do not stand the test of casual perusal leave alone scrutiny.

    December 12, 2011

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