Indian officials hold first talks with Taliban
Recently India has sent a team of diplomats to Kabul for talks with Taliban.
This team of diplomats will meet senior members of the Taliban. Also, this team will ensure fair distribution of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people. In addition, the Taliban has urged India to reopen the Indian embassy in Kabul.
Earlier, India has been taking a strong stand against any kind of talks with the Taliban. However, given its own geopolitical and strategic interests, India continues to engage with the Taliban on its own terms.
India’s approach to Afghanistan has been to focus on promoting soft power. India has invested about $2 billion in aid and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan over the past few decades.
India’s development partnership with Afghanistan was driven by the following 5 pillars:
- Humanitarian aid: Supply of food grains, health facilities etc.
- Infrastructure: construction of roads and highways, construction of dams (such as the Salma Dam) and transmission lines.
- Economic development: Promoting private investment and high-impact community development projects.
- Connectivity: To enhance external connectivity through development of Chabahar port, direct air freight corridor etc.
- Capacity building through Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and other initiatives.
India’s concerns with the Taliban regime
- India faces challenges in development and access to humanitarian aid because of the Taliban’s approach to governance rather than governance.
- Afghanistan is becoming a safe haven for terrorism. According to a recent United Nations report, Jaish-e-Mohammed is running a training camp in Afghanistan.
- The rights of women and minorities are being violated.
- The influence of Pakistan and China is increasing in Afghanistan.
- Political instability has increased in Kabul.
Source – The Hindu