On various occasions, India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar commenting on the paradigm shift in the country’s diplomacy has stated that we have overcome the hesitations of history and will not allow anyone a veto on our choices. The comment is made analysing the past mistakes of Indian diplomacy. His reference to the hesitation of history lies in the fact that in the past we aligned our ideological goal with international relations and suffered a lot. We made alliances according to the country’s ideal principles and refused to take national interest forward. When realism was ruling global politics, working on idealism, we compromised our national interests. But, after 2014 we adopted Modiplomacy and leaving past hesitancy behind advanced our people’s interest.
India’s Place in Afghanistan
The prime example of success of Modiplomacy is Afghanistan. On the issue of Afghanistan, we have always maintained the position that we would not recognise any power which comes through violence. Like India, we promote inclusive and representative government in Afghanistan. Our ideal principles of state governance are aligned with life, liberty, equality, right, and justice. Thus, throughout history, India helped Afghanistan to build democractic institutions like Country’s parliament house and never recognised Taliban. But, when US and its allies forces decided to leave Afghanistan at the mercy of Taliban, India maintained a strategic position.
Realising the geopolitical and security significance of Afghanistan, India made calculated decisions after US’s withdrawal. Considering past misdeeds of Taliban in helping plane hijack, India told Taliban that Pakistan-linked terror groups should not be allowed to utlise Afghan soil for terrorism against India. In response to Indian appeal, Taliban assured to comply. Further, Taliban also requested India to complete its development projects in Afghanistan and continue with pre-Taliban relationships.
This year celebrating the first anniversary of the takeover of Afghanistan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said that “We are hopeful that with the upgradationof the diplomatic mission, we will move forward from the humanitarian aspect to development aspects. And in that area, our priority that we’ve also conveyed to the Indian side is that of the completion of some of the incomplete projects that India has done, as a first step”.
The statement was made after India’s decision to reopen its embassy in Kabul on request of Taliban. After the evacuation of its embassy on August 15, 2021 from Afghanistan, India redeployed a diplomatic mission led by director-rank IFS officers and four other officials. After the assurance of Talibani government, India also deployed a contingent of ITBP for the security of the embassy.
Taliban has also reiterated its position to provide security, diplomatic immunities and all other necessary steps to secure significant Indian presence in Afghanistan. Taliban also assured India that they are fully committed to trilateral mechanism developed for trade via Chabahar route. They are also keen to revive the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
India’s constant support to People of Afghanistan
On request and assurance of the Taliban, India shipped 20,000 MTs of wheat, 13 tons of medicines, 5 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and other essential goods to Afghanistan. Further, other lots of medical and food grains assistance are in progress to follow. Moreover, considering the historical and civilizational relationship with the Afghan people, India has sent a technical team to oversee the delivery of humanitarian assistance. In 20 years of war, India’s development assistance to Afghanistan is estimated to be worth over USD 3 billion with the projects like roads, dams, electricity lines, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure.
Even Taliban threatened Pakistan of dire consequences when they refused to allow Indian humanitarian aid through their land.
Bharat knew that Pakistan will definitely object to this & that's what Idiots did!!!
So….Taliban THREATENED Pakistan of Dire Consequences if this transportation is not allowed.
Pakistan HAD TO RELENT & allow passage…But damaging relations with Taliban Further!!
— BhikuMhatre (@MumbaichaDon) September 15, 2022
Pakistan, China and the US: All Out
Taliban’s trust on India is derived by multiple terms and conditions. India is the only country in the world who can help the Taliban to rule efficiently. Pakistan does not have the capacity as it itself is in heavy debt. The US has already withheld all the aid and there is no chance in near future that they would ever help Afghanistan. Further, the US’s nefarious relationship with Pakistan not only affects India but Afghanistan too. Utilizing Pakistan’s air and land space, Americans are keeping watch on Taliban. They have also launched drone attacks in Afghanistan, which obviously Taliban do not like. Consequently, Taliban is hostile towards both the US as well as Pakistan.
Further, the only country other than India is China, who can help them out. But, considering China’s debt to mortgage ratio in providing help, Taliban seem reluctant. They have already seen the consequences of debt-diplomacy of China in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and other countries. So, they are very cautious of Chinese help.
Pakistan does not have the capacity. Americans are out of the question. Chinese are aggressively mortgaging precious resources in response to help. The only country left is, India. India traditionally has helped Afghanistan and its people in capacity building. We promote the peaceful sustenance of Afghans society and help them on humanitarian basis.
So, playing smart diplomacy, India is capitalizing its position in Afghanistan. Considering Taliban’s reservations with these regional countries and its aspiration to sustain the society, India made its presence in Afghanistan. Strategic locations, scope of business and ultimate security concerns, India considers its presence very important in the country. India in Afghanistan is threat to both Pakistan as well as Pakistan based terrorists. On one hand, India can counter any anti-India activities on Afghan land. On the other hand, they can keep an eye on Pakistan. Leaving the hesitancy of the past, India followed a smart Modiplomacy in Afghanistan and followed the ideology of nation’s interest first.
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