Taliban Negotiations

Why India should take part in these negotiations?
  • May lead to peace -> more development -> prosperous neighbours -> good for India
  • To counter China and Pakistan who are already taking part in these negotiations.
  • To prevent a puppet regime of China and Pakistan
  • Central Asia is important for India. Afghanistan is the key to access it.
  • Afghanistan is mineral rich and India is mineral hungry as it is growing fast. Peace is needed to reap those minerals.
  • India has already invested $2 billion in Afghanistan and lots of energy in gaining goodwill among Afghans. It should not go waste.
Why India should not take part in these negotiations?
  • India can ruin its goodwill if afghans see India as interfering in their internal matters.
  • US is withdrawing and India might be left alone.
  • Interference could further worsen India’s relation with Pakistan
What India can do?
  • India can take Iran and Russia on board as they have equal stake in Afghanistan.
  • India should adopt a flexible approach towards Taliban and be pragmatic as everyone is ready to negotiate with them (USA, Iran, China, Pakistan etc.)
Outcome of 6 nations talk on Afghanistan peace process:
6 nations talk was held in Moscow.
  • India and Afghanistan took a hard line opposing the dominant view from Russia, China and Pakistan to involve the Taliban in reconciliation efforts.
  • Afghanistan made a strong pitch for the United States to be included as one of its most important partners.
  • The key challenge to the process remains policy of good and bad terrorism
  • India’s views:
    • Denying “safe havens or sanctuaries to any terrorist group or individual in countries of our region,” was essential to stabilising the situation in Afghanistan.
    • Hinted that the previous round of QCG (Quadrilateral Cooperation Group) hosted by Pakistan was not acceptable. As reconciliation efforts must be driven by the Afghanistan government and could only be facilitated by “friends and well-wishers of Afghanistan.”

Kabul Peace Offer:

  • Afghanistan President has offered a peaceful solution to Taliban to come forward and negotiate at the Second Kabul Conference.
  • Afghan government offered to armed groups to cease violence and join national peace and reconciliation process that would protect the rights of all Afghans, including the women, children and the minorities.
  • India welcomed this step.
  • India backs the peace talks, but wants action against any members of the Taliban and their sponsors who don’t join the process.
  • The government’s position is consistent with India’s support to an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled reconciliation process, within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and the internationally accepted red lines.



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