A more robust foreign policy initiative is required for India to be seen as a serious player in the future of Afghanistan. Building dams and roads has ensured its presence as a partner in rebuilding the country, but its conservative handling of Afghan issues must be challenged, perhaps by following the Iran route, to push forward its geostrategic interests.
If India enters the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement, as external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said at conference in Islamabad in December, it will boost regional trade and connectivity—both priorities of the Modi government. But Pakistan stridently opposes India’s entry into the agreement. What are the alternatives?
What are the implications for India of the scaling down of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the continuing tension with China at the border, and the political turmoil in Bangladesh? How should India address these and other upheavals in its neighbourhood, which are potential challenges to the country’s security?
Kabul Diary is a compilation of experiences and observations by Gateway House’s Rajeshwari Krishnamurthy, who is visiting Afghanistan. In her second entry, she writes about the omnipresence of the ‘India’ factor and the goodwill that New Delhi has in Kabul.
Pakistan’s national elections will take place in the backdrop of a troubled economy, severe energy crisis, and frequent terrorist attacks. Can these problems be solved if the next leadership agrees to open its territories for trade and transit purposes between India and Afghanistan?
Since 2002, a large amount of U.S. funds flowing into Afghanistan has been diverted to the Taliban by local strongmen, resulting in a continued presence of the militia. The challenge post-2014 will be to reverse the West’s top-down strategy, creating a grassroots-driven incentive for peace and development.
Dawn.com, a news website republished Gateway House researcher Sambuddha Mitra Mustafi's article on India's role in Afghanistan post 2014.He argues that India must continue to deepen its engagement with other neighbours while it assumes a significant role in Afghanistan.
As the NATO troops prepare to pull out of Afghanistan in 2014, India is already positioned to take on a larger, pro-active role, which can radically alter the balance of power in South Asia. However, what will determine the future of security in the region, is how India and Afghanistan deal with Pakistan.