Role for India in Afghan peace push
The U.S. objectives
Following 4 were the states as objectives of the Afghan peace process.
1) An end to violence by declaring a ceasefire.
2) An intra-Afghan dialogue for a lasting peace.
3) The Taliban cutting ties with terrorist organisations such as al Qaeda.
4) U.S. troop withdrawal.
Evolving Indian stand in the peace process
- India’s vision of a sovereign, united, stable, plural and democratic Afghanistan is one that is shared by a large constituency in Afghanistan, cutting across ethnic and provincial lines.
- At Doha meeting, India’s External Affairs Ministerreiterated that the peace process must be “Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled”.
- But Indian policy has evolved from its earlier hands-off approach to the Taliban.
- U.S. and Russian representatives suggested if India had concerns regarding anti-India activities of terrorist groups, it must engage directly with the Taliban. In other words.
Limited interest of the major powers
- Major powers have limited interests in the peace process.
- The European Union has made it clear that its financial contribution will depend on the security environment and the human rights record.
- China can always lean on Pakistan to preserve its security and connectivity interests.
- For Russia, blocking the drug supply and keeping its southern periphery secure from extremist influences is key.
- That is why no major power is taking ownership for the reconciliation talks, but merely content with being facilitators.
- A more active engagement will enable India to work with like-minded forces in the region to ensure that the vacuum created by the U.S. withdrawal does not lead to an unravelling of the gains registered during the last two decades.