Taliban, an unwanted reality of Afghanistan and India’s diplomatic dilemma.



Since taliban took over the Kabul India is still in dilemma that, How to deal with taliban 2.0. 

On 15th August,2021 taliban took over kabul, Republican administration backed by USA and West fallen like pack of cards , in atmosphere of uncertainty and chaos local afghans rushed to Hamid karzai airport ( now kabul airport). Amidst all this ongoing chaotic situations India has decided to shut it’s all diplomatic mission off in kabul including four consulates from Jalabad to major-e- Shareef. Doha agreement ( 29 th February, 2020) considered as the major possible cause of republicans falls, in and interview security advisor of then incumbent president Ashraf Ghani reveal that in Doha democratically elected government representative were absent. That gives the Taliban a green signal to go ahead and achieve desired goals with voilance . Since Doha talks there was buzz in New Delhi about the return of taliban, but speedy fall of Ghani led administration taken all of us with surprise this made situation more precarious and complex.

After this horrific episode diplomats and foreign affair experts sitting at south block in New Delhi found themselves in a deep dilemma. How to deal with taliban2.0 became a question of television headlines on prime time programmes at 9pm and front page story of leading national newspapers. For short term India has chosen to stay with “ wait and watch policy” but New Delhi strict with pro- afgans policy by providing humanitarian assistance in form of (wheat and medicine largely ) to people of Afghanistan in situation of dire need. 

Memories of strict shariah law of taliban’s first regime , hijacking ICJ-814 plan from Nepal to Kandhar , deadly attack on India’s diplomatic mission to kabul(2008) and taliban’s unholy nexus with deep state of Pakistan made India more confused about further talk with taliban. 

Surprisingly India made a complete departure from it’s old policy towards taliban regime between 1996 to 2001. At that time India was among the staunch supporters of Northern alliance have no diplomatic presence in kabul and there was no question of recognition to taliban led government . In October,2021 a Indian delegation met with taliban’s deputy prime minister Abdul Salam Hanafi in Russia at moscow formate consultation on Afghanistan , after meeting taliban spokesperson zabiullah Mujahid tweeted that India has expressed it’s wish to continue humanitarian aid for people of Afghanistan.

Under this regime since beginning diplomatic equations between taliban and Pakistan are not working well due to unfolding problems over Durand line and various range of issues such as treatment of afghan refugees in Pakistan, Tahreek-E- taliban Pakistan(TTP) etc. apart from it both Kandhari and Haqqani factions of Taliban showed interest in talk with India in a statement sirajuddin Haqqani asserted that “Taliban has acknowledged importance of maintaining friendly relations with all nations and take their concerns seriously”, on question of kashmir taliban’s spokesperson Suhail saheen has clarified that” it doesn’t interfere in internal affairs of other countries”. 

In June,last year India send a very small team of diplomats to kabul to keep monitoring distribution of humanitarian aid and see the matters of consulates. On this move foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told the media that there is no need to read so much about this action of India, while taliban celebrated this move as a step toward recognition. 

Recent reports of United Nations over terror outfits functioning out of afghan soil, killing of ayman al zawahiri at the Heart of kabul and anti India jihadi organisations such as Laskar-e- tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad are freely taking shelters in af-pak region. Harbouring terrorist on soil of Afghanistan is in interest of None and it would be direct violation to Doha agreement. 

India has showed higher reluctancy while engaging with taliban owed to groups dubious nature. As taliban promised that it will uphold the rights of all afgans including women ,religious and ethnic minorities but actions are far from promises. Taliban has put complete ban on education of women and excluded them all spheres of public life by imposing orthodox and narrowly interpreted version of shariah law. Sharing table with such barbarous regime would be uncomfortable moment for functional and thriving democracy like India apart from these India has four main concern in kabul one there should be a peace process it should be “afghan led , afghan own and afghan controlled” , second is “peace within afghan and around Afghanistan”

Third “ soil of kabul should not be used for anti India activities “ fourth authorities in kabul must uphold the basic human rights of all afgans irrespective of their gender, faith , ethnicity and other identity . However At a time various countries such as china , Russia, and various European countries including NATO members decided to engage with taliban India can’t be a silent spectator when a big geo-political game is going to start in India’s immediate neighbourhood. New Delhi must engage at the same time India must support international sanctions against taliban to force them to form an inclusive government. A government that can reflect the views of people from all walks of life.


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