GS-2, International Relations, Uncategorized

Drawing Kabul into a closer embrace

The Hindu

Context

  • PM Modi’s visit to Afghanistan

Issue

  • India should not keep its relationship limited to infrastructure and should look for expanding the scope of its relationship with Afghanistan.

India’s contribution to Afghanistan

  • India has invested in economic reconstruction in post-Taliban Afghanistan.
  • India has built Salma dam in Herat province, which will boost the agricultural and industrial sectors of Herat.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port, which has been built with Indian aid will be linked to Afghan road networks.
  • India is one of the closest regional powers that has invested in institution and infrastructure building in Afghanistan.
  • Besides the infrastructure work India has initiated and completed, it has also signed the TAPI pipeline project that aims to bring natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India.

Should we expand our relationship?

  • Afghanistan is currently going through a particularly turbulent transition
  • It has realised that complete military victory over Taliban is improbable.
  • It is openly targeting Pakistan for supporting the Taliban.
  • Both India and Afghanistan understands that a stable regime in Kabul is geopolitical insurance against Pakistan’s deep state.
  • This raises the question that whether the time has come to expand our relationship.
  • India has signalled a small shift in its policy by delivering M-25 attack helicopters to Kabul.
  • But it remains cautious about making larger overtures on security and is wary of being sucked into a never-ending war.
  • Such caution is required.
  • But it should not deter India from playing a bigger role in a country whose stability is vital for its regional ambitions.For India, Afghanistan has immense strategic potential.

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