Developments on the Af-Pak front are set to culminate at the forthcoming conference in Bonn, a decade since the first edition. Yet, there is little optimism.1 The two antagonists, the US-led NATO force, International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF), and the Taliban, are at a mutually hurting stalemate. Ironically, even as this indicates the conflict is ripe for settlement, both continue to circle each other in the ring. It appears that both are unwilling to be the first to change military tack, even though both have given sufficient indications of interest in a peace process.2 In effect, the peace process needs an external catalyst. Can India fulfill such a role? This paper outlines a strategy for India towards assisting in conflict resolution in Afghanistan. The paper first conducts a strategic appreciation beginning with a brief environment scan. This section comprises arriving at India’s aim through a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and a discussion of strategy options. It then paints possible scenarios post-2014 to objectively test the strategy options for robustness. It finally explicates the strategy option of a politically proactive India. The proposal is for India nudging the international community towards conflict resolution through UN mediation and peacekeeping.3 Thelatter can even take the form of a UN SAARC association
in ‘hybrid’ peacekeeping.