The UN Secretariat held a meeting earlier this month of the “6 + 2 + 1” group on regional efforts to support peace in Afghanistan.
Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan , China, and Uzbekistan; then the United States and Russia, and Afghanistan itself.
What about India:
· India was noticeable for its absence from the April 16 conference, despite its historic and strategic links to Afghanistan.
Has it faced a similar situation:
- India faced similar issues during the Bonn Agreement and the “London Conference”.
- The reason given was that it holds no “boundary” with Afghanistan.
- But truth might be that New Delhi has never announced its support for the U.S.Taliban peace process.
- India’s building blocks:
- In 2001 and 2010, India fought back its exclusion successfully.
- Ambassador Lambah was widely praised at the Bonn Agreement for ensuring that members of the Northern Alliance came to an agreement to recognise Hamid Karzai as the chairman of the transitional arrangement that substituted the Taliban regime.
- Post 2010 conference, India furthered its efforts with Kabul, and in 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghanistan President Karzai signed the historic Strategic Partnership Agreement, first such agreement with any country for Kabul.
- India’s example as a pluralistic, inclusive democracy inspires many.
- The structures of that gratitude are the assistance of India in infrastructure projects, food security, health care, education, trade and also in the broad access to Afghans to research, train and work in India .
- India’s assistance – more than $3 billion in projects, trade of about $1 billion, a $20 billion projected development expenditure of an alternate route through Chabahar, as well as its support to the bureaucrats, doctors Afghan National Army, and other professionals in India.
- All these should assure it a leading position in Afghanistan’s regional formulation.
Three major projects:
- the Afghan Parliament
- the ZaranjDelaramHighway
- the AfghanistanIndia Friendship Dam (Salma dam), along with hundreds of
- small development projects (have cemented that position in Afghan hearts.
Reasons for such exclusions:
- India’s aversion to communicating to the Taliban in public.
It’s stance of an Afghan led, Afghan held, and Afghan controlled mechanism is a noble one, but has little takers.
- That’s because the US – Taliban mechanism doesn’t take the current government into
- The Taliban do not accept the Government of Afghanistan.
- India’s presence in Afghanistan, which has been gradually building up from 2001, is again being threatened by terror groups such as the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), assumed to be supported by the government of Pakistan.
- India should fight aside the idea that any permanent solution in Afghanistan can negotiated without India.
- Attempts to bridge the divide between Ghani-Abdullah and unite other major leaders with whom India has for decades built relations.
- An understanding on Afghanistan between Iran and the US is necessary and India may play a mediating role, as in the Chabahar project.
- Appointment of a special envoy, as it has been done in the past, to deal with its efforts in Afghanistan could be considered.
Source:” The Hindu“.
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