While focussing on India's huge investment made in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, discuss how Afghanistan can prove to be of great strategic and economic importance to India in coming years.

India is contributing immensely for the development and reconstruction in the war hit Afghanistan.  Afghanistan can be of great strategic and economic importance for India.
Strategic importance of Afghanistan for India

  • Afghanistan acts as a gateway for Central Asia. Thus its geostrategic location can aid India in its connect central Asia policy.
  • Afghanistan as a strategic partnership agreement with India. India-Afghanistan coalition can be of great advantage in fighting terrorism which is bleeding the region of South Asia.
  • It aids India in building deterrence against Pakistan. Presence of India in Afghanistan is perceived as threat by Pakistan as it provides India an opportunity for encircling Pakistan.
  • Afghanistan is perceived as epicenter of instability and it is integral to the golden crescent which is hub of drug trafficking. India needs a friendly regime in Afghanistan to diffuse the threats of terrorism and drug trafficking.
  • Both Afghanistan and India are victims of terrorism emanating from the Pakistan. An alliance will be fruitful in fighting the menace of terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

Economic importance of Afghanistan

  • Afghanistan has rich source of valuable minerals. Cooperation between India and Afghanistan can aid in efficient use of these resources. India owns the mining rights to three of the four blocks of the Hajigak iron ore deposits, west of the capital city of Kabul.
  • Afghanistan is also gateway to energy rich regions of central Asia. This will aid India in acquiring access.
  • Afghanistan has deep cultural ties with India. This offers great opportunities for India’s exports.

India has generated huge good will in Afghanistan for its efforts towards rebuilding aftermath war. It can hugely benefit from the goodwill by encashing of the economic and strategic opportunities.

Question for UPSC Mains:
While focussing on India’s huge investment made in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, discuss how Afghanistan can prove to be of great strategic and economic importance to India in coming years. {250 words, 15 Marks}

Published: April 28, 2018 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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