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Afghan: Should India talk to the Taliban?

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21.01.2019

The Taliban, a violent extremist Islamist organisation bolstered by arms and money from the Pakistani establishment, has all of a sudden acquired a certain legitimacy. The United States, Russia and Iran are all talking to the Taliban leadership.

The proximate cause is Washington’s desire to finally pull out from Afghanistan where it has fought — and largely lost — an 18-year-old war. US President Donald Trump appears to be bold enough to do what his predecessors always wanted but didn’t dare to: walk away from the Afghan conflict.

Mr Trump doesn’t care a hoot what happens to Afghanistan and there’s no good reason why he should. Thousands of Americans were killed fighting in that country and even the modest US military presence there costs the US taxpayer billions of dollars.

Besides, it’s amply clear by now that the US military is incapable of winning the war against the Taliban. Nor can US money transform the country into a vibrant squeaky-clean Western-style democracy.

The Pakistani military establishment has won through their Islamist proxy, the Taliban. This is the reality: no amount of argument can change the fact.

The question is what should India do? Talk to the Taliban or stay away and hope for the best?

The only high-ranking Indian official candid enough to say something was Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat, who during a discussion at a conference said: “If other nations are keen on initiating talks with the Taliban, and this is what the host nation desires; then India shouldn’t be left out of the bandwagon, because of our positive engagements with........

© The Asian Age