What should be India's approach towards Afghanistan ? Discuss in context with the new South Asia Policy of United States.|

Published: September 22, 2017

Afghanistan is strategically important for the USA and keeping its interests in mind USA recently announced a new policy regarding the Afghanistan. The new policy which focuses robust military action on counterterrorism put more pressure on Pakistan to battle against terror groups and a greater role for India. The importance of India-Afghanistan relationship is evident from the fact that, India was the first country Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership agreement with. India has a close strategic partnership with Afghanistan covering a broad spectrum of areas.
India has made tangible commitments to re-build Afghanistan, for example, development of parliament building to schools to hospitals, roads, and dams. However, even after vital development initiatives, India is not a major player in the future settlement of Afghanistan. On the other hand Pakistan is playing a vital role, in fact, Pakistan has cultivated the abundance of proxy Armies, especially the Taliban, that now controls over 50 percent of Afghanistan. Therefore any Indian effort to provide military equipment and training to Afghan forces will be resisted by Pakistan. So Indian troops in Afghanistan will not be a pragmatic strategy.
Pakistan is working towards expansion of its footprint in Afghanistan and certainly, Pakistan doesn’t want India’s presence in Afghanistan. On the other hand, China is also keen on a bigger role in Afghanistan. Therefore India should use the active support from the US to strengthen its diplomatic caliber in Afghanistan peace solution. Apart from that, the infrastructure of terrorism has to be dismantled and the action should be taken against the supporters of such terror groups.

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