‘India must not give Taliban legitimacy until it joins intra-Afghan talks’
With the terrorist organization not willing to announce a ceasefire even amid the COVID-19 crisis, they mustn’t get a ‘free pass’ from U.S., says former envoy to Kabul
- The U.S. is trying to salvage its deal with the Taliban, despite rising violence in Afghanistan, National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) member and former envoy to Kabul Amar Sinha stressed it would be pointless for India to engage with the group till it joins the intra-Afghan dialogue.
- The top leadership in Kabul has reached a settlement that will bring Abdullah Abdullah into the government with President Ghani as the President of the High Council for peace and national reconciliation, expected to lead the intra-Afghan dialogue with the Taliban.
- Despite all the fighting and the rival factions, the Afghan leadership has shown once again its ability to come together when that is needed the most.
- Unfortunately, the U.S.-Taliban deal has a tolerance for violence written into it.
- It contains no commitment to stopping attacks against Afghan forces, only those against American soldiers and NATO forces.
- According to intelligence reports, the Taliban has decided to not to claim attacks on civilians, those are left to ISIS-KP.
- They must have their own sources, but it is strange to absolve the Taliban of guilt while investigations are still underway.
- At the moment, the Taliban are not even willing to announce a ceasefire, amidst the coronavirus crisis, amidst these brutal attacks, and not even during the month of Ramzan.
- Bilateral ties between New Delhi and Kabul remain strong, but there is a sense India is being sidelined in the regional talks on Afghanistan.