We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

India Is Scrambling to Get on the Taliban’s Good Side

12 20 0
13.07.2021

India is worried. As the last U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan, there is palpable fear in New Delhi that the return of the Taliban to power might mean the return of Pakistan-funded jihadi groups that have a history of attacking India. The growing possibility that Indian troops might be called on to enter Afghanistan sparks the greatest fear of all.

The Indian government is not alone. Russia, Iran, and China are also worried about spillover from an extended Afghan civil war, including a large-scale refugee crisis. India, however, is in the most disadvantageous position. While Russia, China, and Iran started talking to the Taliban years ago, to be better able to address their concerns directly with the group if it returned to power, India stuck to its principled opposition to the group and stood by its allies in the Afghan government.

India is worried. As the last U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan, there is palpable fear in New Delhi that the return of the Taliban to power might mean the return of Pakistan-funded jihadi groups that have a history of attacking India. The growing possibility that Indian troops might be called on to enter Afghanistan sparks the greatest fear of all.

The Indian government is not alone. Russia, Iran, and China are also worried about spillover from an extended Afghan civil war, including a large-scale refugee crisis. India, however, is in the most disadvantageous position. While Russia, China, and Iran started talking to the Taliban years ago, to be better able to address their concerns directly with the group if it returned to power, India stuck to its principled opposition to the group and stood by its allies in the Afghan government.

Now, as a civil war in Afghanistan seems imminent and even Indian experts agree that the Afghan government’s writ will be limited to urban centers, New Delhi has reportedly been scrambling to send reconciliatory messages to the Taliban—messages that have thus far gone unanswered.

The Afghan government, meanwhile, is none too pleased with the reports and is appealing for India to provide more support at its hour of need. A high-ranking Afghan official told FP the United States has already committed to providing $4.5 billion a year, a large chunk of it for the Afghan security forces, and 29 Black Hawk combat aircrafts. “More Black Hawks would change the calculus........

© Foreign Policy


Get it on Google Play