Turmoil in Afghanistan and India’s Calibrated Steps

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As the dust settles on the erstwhile Kingdom of Gandhara, the attention shifts from the ongoing evacuation and the so-called American blunder, to ‘what next?’. Distant nations in the European Union and the Middle East are on guard as it falls in their circle of concern. However, India, Russia, Iran, China, and Pakistan know that it falls in their circle of influence. It is easy to delve into the past or talk about the present, but crystal gazing into the future is very tough, especially when one is dealing with an entity as unstable as the Taliban.

While the other nations’ strategists must be drawing up their roadmap for Afghanistan, what are India’s options, and what should be India’s objectives in the region?

I bring out a detailed analysis of India’s options in the Central Asian Region (CAR) and Afghanistan, on India’s leading think-tank organization ‘Chanakya Forum’:

34 thoughts

  1. What is to b be done? At this point, I would say, don’t soil your hands and don’t spread hatred. Afghanistan will have power struggles—my crystal ball is clear on this—and the players you mentioned will try to influence them. India should focus on internal cohesion and denounce the hate and confusion coming from the Taliban/ISIS. As your countryman Mahatma Gandhi once noted, it is easy to form movements around hate, blame, and fear, but those in the end tend to be short-term end self-destructive. India will prevail. God’s blessings, Sandomina.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and giving such a wonderful review. The idea of India could survive maybe ever since humanity came into existence. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means “the world is one family,” has been India’s motto even though a barrage of foreign power came, ruled, looted this nation regularly. It became the biggest center of learning in the world when the world was discovering itself.
      India went to Afghanistan with the intention of development and it did just that. I am sure India’s intent would be just that in the future too.

  2. Thank you sir for sharing this very insightful article. The current situation in Afghanistan is of complete chaos. With players like China, Pakistan, and Russia trying to take the advantage of this instability will obviously try to play the big boss. Moreover the hollow claims of Taliban 2.0 being a completely transparent and democratic regime are just a big farce. With looming uncertainty over the future of Afghanistan, India should take very measured moves in terms of dealing with Taliban which certainly includes not giving them any kind of recognition, but at the same time keep the diplomatic talks going on to ensure that all the pending investment infrastructure projects are carried on smoothly and efficiently. Anyways time is the biggest leveler. With change in time, we’ll see some major changes unfolding in Afghanistan in coming few years. Let’s not just hope but also act for the best.

    Once again thank you sir for putting down a comprehensive review of the steps India should take in near future. I learned a lot from it. Hoping to read many more such insightful articles in near future from your pen.

    Regards
    Jayant Singh

    1. It was very heartening to read your review, Jayant.
      As you said time is the biggest leveler, therefore we should remain engaged but make no haste.
      The article has gone to CDS and all the services Chiefs. We are on the right track.
      If possible share the same review on Chanakya Forum for a larger audience to read.

  3. Getting another perspective is essential for understanding the effect Biden’s blunder –and that of every nation that has tried to conquer Afghanistan — has had on world politics. The concerns are far deeper than what may appear on the surface.

    India is not only surrounded by Muslim countries, it is also threatened by China. Were India to be overrun by either, many ancient monuments and artifacts would be destroyed, just as they have been destroyed in Afghanistan. In China, any religion, other than the communist religion, is being purged.

    People wonder why there is so little evidence remaining to show us our forgotten past. We can see the pyramids, or what is left of them, and know that we still can’t recreate how they were built. If the behavior we’re seeing from the Taliban and China is any indication of the past behaviors of dead civilizations, the worst of us continually destroy all evidence of our past achievements and mistakes.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing the detailed analysis.
      The idea of India has survived for thousands of years. Barbarians, occupiers, and marauders have come and gone. Yes, you are right that we lost a lot of heritage, a lot of ancient wisdom, and a lot of monuments which we can’t recreate.

  4. A wonderfully analytical and well researched writeup. As things stand today, the talibans with various gun totting pressure groups; Hikani network etc. prowling in the streets of Kabul and beyond showcasing their brute power to the general masses is really pathetic to say the least. But ultimately, humans require food and due to dry spell, there would be shortage of food and further the talibans are not allowing people to draw their cash from the banks, the problem for the hapless common people would be worse than we imagine. Think of the women folks and the children, their future in jeopardy with no hope forthcoming from any quarter. The huge cache of arms and ammunition left by the American which the talibans have possessed would be used against all their opponents. The ISIS K too and the terrorists from Pakistan would create disturbance not merely in Afghanistan but also in the neighbouring countries too. Pakistan will fish in the troubled waters but will face the music of their own making when things turn hot for them. The terrorists trained by them will create mayhem for them too. And, can India remain safe? I do not think so since our neighbours will do everything possible to spoil the environment.

    As far as recognisation of the Taliban Government is concerned, we should wait and watch and see how the winds of change is taking place. But we cannot remain sitting on the fence. We had created goodwill and helped creation of infra etc. but now again India will have to explore possibility of creating such environ again.

    With regards

    HARBANS

    1. Thank you so much for such a detailed analysis. These reviews really help researchers and students. Warm regards.

  5. I’ll be back for this one, Commander and friend! ( P. S. Could you add some perspective on the “so-called American blunder”? It surely looks like one from where I’m sitting.)

      1. Thank you for your honest assessment, dear Commander and friend; I was hoping you might find one bright spot in the midst of the horror; but truth must be faced, indeed.

      2. There is so much we have to grasp in such a short time and the narrative changes every day. I will keep getting back on the topic, D’Nanda.

    1. Please all me, an American citizen to chime in here: Our president is almost senile and cannot be trusted with international affairs. That said, because of his mental deterioration, much of “his actions” are orchestrated by anti-Semitic members of his party, such as his vice-president (who more than any before her earns the title VICE president). The democratic party has a very short view of history and is trying to move the US toward socialism, so any unrest globally will play into their agenda.
      Though the Commander thinks the US is not down and out, I expect that we are closer to the demise of American leadership than ever before. The US is in decline and may be beyond recovery. India and China will be the leaders of the next generation’s ideals. I pray that India, whose ideals are better than China’s exaltation of the State, will lead better than China does.

      1. Appreciate the perspective, capost2k! I largely concur, but I won’t be ready to throw in the towel until after the ’22 midterms. That set of results will be determinative for me….Thanks again.

  6. Great article showcasing India’s concern at the Afghanistani situation and examine options available with India regarding future prospects & plan of course of action in this regard!Thanks for sharing the insightful article, Sandeep !

  7. Great insights as always expected. Your expose on Taliban becoming technosavvy is worth pondering about with 40 % Internet and 90% mobile penetration in Afghanistan, it seems Afghanistan is not a mediaeval world and has caught up with the technology. The flip side is it becoming a liaibilty if the US or the rest using it to gain advantage.I am proud of our CF association and feel vindicated. Keep at it. Well done.

  8. Indepth analysis of the situation. Terrorists should not be believed upon. People should learn from past experiences. India is surrounded by several unfriendly neighbours and should be on high alert with the changing scenario.

  9. Here ,India needs to prepare the Indian security most strong.Afghanistan is become habitual for struggling time to time. But India should be beware for security of Indian’a borders.

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