quite interesting how things change!
by the way quite a few indian companies are investing in turkey, recently there was this news that the turks were wooing indian companies to make big investments in electricity generation.
quite interesting how things change!
by the way quite a few indian companies are investing in turkey, recently there was this news that the turks were wooing indian companies to make big investments in electricity generation.
we fell for the trap hook,line and sinker.The only thing we will get is terrorist attacks after this in India
India explores options abroad
Sunday, October 16, 2011
India has been batting on the back foot in handling its affairs at home, but on issues of foreign policy it has lately been looking for new openings, showing greater confidence in itself. In at least four areas it has made moves which befit a nation of billion-plus people keen to emerge as a major power of the 21st century.
The country has chosen to explore oil and gas in the South China Sea; abstained on the vote on Syrian resolution in the Security Council; the Prime Minister has met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines at the United Nations to promote better ties with Iran; and, most significantly, signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan.
All these initiatives are aimed at making the point that a country like India cannot but follow a foreign policy that is independent in nature and is aimed at protecting its national interest, without meaning to harm the interest of any other nation, in the region or beyond.
It is possible the Chinese are going to feel upset with India about its decision to explore oil and gas in the South China Sea -- which in Beijing’s reckoning belongs to its area of influence. The abstention on the vote on the Syrian situation and the Prime Minister’s meeting the Iranian President in New York may have made Washington unhappy; but India has its reasons and the right to pursue a policy that advances its interests without tripping on other countries toes.
The most important, perhaps a departure, is India’s decision to go in for a strategic partnership with Afghanistan. The strategic partnership agreement, signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Hamid Karzai, provides for India to train the Afghanistan National Army and the supply of military equipment to enable it to do its job better against the security threats the country is facing.
Many in Pakistan are bound to feel disturbed by India and Afghanistan signing the strategic partnership agreement. Islamabad has always been living with the self-cultivated belief that Afghanistan is a part of its strategic depth it has been seeking to achieve.
Afghans, irrespective of their dispensation, have never liked the notions of strategic depth, which smack of Pakistan’s extra-territorial ambitions, or at least a keenness to have a quisling rule in Kabul to govern Afghanistan -- for Islamabad.
The strategic partnership agreement between India and Afghanistan cuts into Pakistan’s plans to acquire this strategic depth in Afghanistan and as such is certainly bound to be unpopular with the Pakistan Army.
Essentially, Pakistan has been wanting to fill the vacuum in Afghanistan, first left by the Soviet withdrawal and now after the US has pulled out its troops in 2014. After the Soviet withdrawal two decades ago it sustained the Taliban regime in the 1990s until it was replaced by US-Nato troops in the wake of 9/11.
The induction of US-Nato troops aimed at fighting al Qaeda terrorists operating from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was never liked by Pakistan. It followed a strange two-track approach which ostensibly was meant to support the US war on terrorists and at the same time backing the Taliban groups in Afghanistan on the sly. This kind of a two-faced policy followed by Pakistan was bound to lead to a fractured relationship between the US and Pakistan one day.
The Haqqani group’s attacks on the US-Nato interests in Afghanistan have made mending the US-Pak relations extremely difficult. It looks like Islamabad may soon have to choose between Haqqani and the US.
For years, India has been kept at bay by Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Indian Embassy and other interests in Afghanistan have been attacked by the ISI-backed Taliban. Even if the level of India’s training to Afghan National Army and the supply of equipment to ANA to augment its capability under the new agreement remains low, any Indian interest in Afghanistan is bound to get under Pakistan’s skin, although it is the sovereign right of Afghanistan to enter into arrangement with another country, particularly when it wants to equip itself to deal with threat to its security.
It is not that Indian presence in Afghanistan is going to be massive in size that should cause fear in Islamabad. India has already been training a few Afghan army personnel in India. The new agreement may eventually lead to training in Afghanistan itself and supply of some basic military equipment.
A day after signing the agreement for strategic partnership, Dr Karzai in a keynote lecture in New Delhi felt it necessary to assure Pakistan, which he described as “a twin brother” and India, “a great friend”. It is unlikely that his assurance and any that India might convey, are likely to be taken at face value by Islamabad, judging from the reports that the Pakistan top generals are already discussing the new situation.
India also does not want to be sucked into any internal Afghan conflicts as it knows about the fate that other powers – the Soviet Union or US-Nato and others, have met after getting into the country’s internal power struggles. India does not want to be a part of any game, great or otherwise --- often played by international powers in the past.
New Delhi’s only strategic interest is that Afghanistan should emerge from its continuing travails and grow according to its own genius, as an independent country, free from any foreign interference.
India has already been favouring the idea that an international conference should be called to work out the future of Afghanistan after the US-Nato troops have pulled out from the war-torn country.
Participants in this conference should be the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the European Union, and Afghanistan’s, regional nations like India, Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian neighbours. This conference should guarantee a kind of international status that ensures Afghanistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference into its affairs by any outside power, among other things.
The idea for such a conference has always been looked at with scorn by Pakistan which has considered Afghanistan to be its redoubt and a part of the strategic depth.
The US has so far been lukewarm to the idea of such a conference, mainly because it did not want to hurt Pakistan’s sensitivities, but in view of the kind of the problems that are now dogging the US-Pakistan relationship, it may come to the view post-pull out guarantees for Afghanistan more favourably. Several other western countries are increasingly accepting the need for such a conference.
Much depends on how the Pakistan Army top brass reacts to the present situation in the region. There is a possibility that it may misunderstand Indian intentions.
Rightly considered, India and Pakistan should think of ways for how they can cooperate with each other in the economic development of Afghanistan. This will require statesmanship of a high order and an element of mutual trust, which in turn will help resolve India-Pakistan problems and ensure durable peace in the region.
(H K Dua is a senior journalist and now a Member of Parliament.)
India explores options abroad
India will help Afghanistan drive out foreign interference.
^^^^ India and Turkey were involved in co-operation against anti-Taliban forces in the 90s. Ansari's visit is probably with a view to revive those contacts. just like Iran is also being brought on board with the recent PM level meeting in the UN.
For India, an uneasy road to Kabul
With the treaty with Afghanistan signed in New Delhi on October 4, India has introduced itself as a member of the top table, regardless of disapproving sniffs from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or active (and often violent) opposition from Pakistan). The United States, the main player in Afghanistan, must have directly or indirectly indicated its acquiescence, without which this would not have been feasible.
- October 18, 2011
- By Shankar Roychowdhury
For the first time, India and Afghanistan have moved out of the realms of “soft power” and directly entered into the hitherto forbidden hard power space of mutual security. Under this pact, India is to train Afghan security forces in counterterrorism, which has expanded into fairly intense counterinsurgency and conventional operations as well. This was an area hitherto reserved for the efforts of the polygot Nato forces, each with their own uneven national standards of efficiency and effectiveness.
The Nato troops, except its American component, have always been reluctant warriors in Afghanistan, operating under individual national approvals regarding location and choice of mission. Their troops have been almost invariably been assigned to the “quieter” spots of the conflict like the territory of the Northern Alliance in upper Afghanistan, where the Taliban have expanded into. Some like Spain succumbed to pressure and pulled out their forces. Others, like the United Kingdom, have decided that they have done their bit, and it was advisable to terminate their fruitless involvement in a frustrating war, with no tangible benefits but only casualties. Of course, Britain waited till the end of its Afghan commitments, before withdrawing completely from its thankless task. To give the British forces their due, they have done their share of duty in the high-intensity Helmand area (of south western Afghanistan), where other European contingents have shown reluctance to become engaged in.
Afghanistan has proved that Nato remains an organisation essentially designed for “homeland defence” of Western Europe against a Soviet threat during the Cold War and is out of place in a non-European environment. Indeed, it would not be incorrect to question the present raison d’être for Nato itself in the post-Cold War environment even in Europe. Perhaps a European Union force would be more appropriate with, of course, its inevitable doubts on American linkages.
How should India go about implementing the proposed security component of its agreement with Afghanistan? There are too many unknowns in Afghanistan, including the long-term prospects of the Karzai government itself. The recent assassination of former Afghanistan President Burhanuddin Rabbani on September 20 demonstrates that even though goodwill for India may (and does) exist among all sections of the Afghan population, including Pashtuns, any public expression of it will draw the wrath of Pakistan-sponsored elements proliferating in Afghanistan.
As the final dates of drawdown in 2014 get closer, Nato appears increasingly anxious to leave with as few casualties as possible. The Taliban is scenting victory and quite content to bide its time with occasional high-profile targeted attacks like the Rabbani assassination, or the attack on the US embassy and Nato headquarters in Kabul in July, designed to remind the world about its presence.
Under such circumstances India must clearly understand all aspects and dimensions of the situation it seeks to enter into. The aim must be clear — to deny Pakistan the strategic space of an Afghanistan controlled by a power structure hostile to India.
The Afghan National Army has commenced taking over responsibility for the security situation in Afghanistan. It has not yet been fully successful, but is not an abject failure either. Gradually, almost imperceptibly, a spirit of Afghan national unity is coming about, especially in the urban areas and amongst the student population. India must sense this carefully and try to move with as much caution as possible. It is unlikely of course that any large-scale movement of Afghan troops to India for training will take place. Pakistan will not allow it.
The only alternative is to emplace Indian Military Training and Advisory Teams (IMTRAT) in Afghanistan where they will impart training to Afghan Army troops in whatever branches of service are required. Chief amongst these will be training the fighting arms — armour, artillery, combat engineers, and infantry. It is no small task, but one in which the Indian Army is well versed, having carried these out in diverse locations earlier. Indian instructors get along well with foreign nationalities, particularly those from allied regions like Burma, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal or Bhutan, besides African and Arab countries.
Professionally, training the Afghan National Army should not be a problem for India. The problem lies in the intense politics associated with Afghanistan and its internal issues. This has already commenced, with President Hamid Karzai’s statement about India being a close friend, but Pakistan a “twin brother”. IMTRAT Afghanistan will be intensely targeted by Pakistan’s Afghan auxiliaries and will require strong self-protection measures. There may even be casualties, like the two Indian medical officers assassinated in Kabul by Pakistan-sponsored groups. Pakistan will also do its best to make transit connectivity between India and Afghanistan as insecure as possible. Under these circumstances, the greater danger is loss of resolution by the Indian government and abandonment of its resolutions to help Afghanistan to arm and defend itself.
Afghanistan has historically been the graveyard of empires. India is not an imperialist in the traditional politico-military sense but its failure to help Karzai’s Afghanistan would be a tragedy.
The writer is a former Chief of Army Staff and a former member of Parliament
For India, an uneasy road to Kabul | Deccan Chronicle
Praising India’s “constructive” role in the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, the Pentagon in a report told the US Congress that New Delhi has now expressed an interest to help strengthen the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
“In addition to reconstruction projects, India has expressed an interest to help strengthen the capabilities of the ANSF,” Pentagon said in its six-monthly progress report on Afghanistan.
“During his June 2011 visit to New Delhi, Afghan Defence Minister Wardak and Indian Defence Minister AK Antony discussed expanding cooperation to train ANSF personnel.
“To date, India’s security assistance has been limited; India currently provides scholarships for Afghan National Security Force personnel to study in India, and the Indian Government is also exploring options to train female Afghan police in India,” the report said.
The Pentagon said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs’ visit to Kabul in May 2011, his first since 2005, underscored India’s enduring commitment to diplomatic and development efforts in Afghanistan. During his visit, Singh announced an increase in economic support to the war-torn country to a joint session of the Afghan Parliament.
During the visit, the pledge of an additional $ 500 million in aid, to be spent mainly on development projects, raised India’s overall assistance pledge to a total of $ 2 billion.
“In October 2011, PM Singh and President Karzai signed a strategic partnership declaration, which covers governance, economics, commerce, education, public administration, and security/law enforcement cooperation,” the report said.
Indian assistance continues to focus on major infrastructure projects, such as electricity generation and transmission and road construction.
“India is largely responsible for bringing more consistent electricity to Kabul, and Indian funding continues to support the construction of the Salma hydroelectric dam in Herat Province. Construction at Salma, however, is= currently behind schedule, with a tentative completion date of late 2012,” it said.
According to the Pentagon report, India also supports a variety of smaller-scale projects and initiatives like the Indian Medical Missions in Afghanistan’s major cities that serve tens of thousands of Afghans yearly.
India also focuses its assistance on building Afghan human capital through scholarship programmes at Indian Universities (more than 1,000 scholarships per year), agricultural training programs, and other vocational training activities, it added.
India training Afghan Army freightens Pakistan
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
India is intending to train Afghan National Army officers in India’s Counter Insurgency Military University in the frame work of the strategic agreement which was signed between the two nations in New Delhi last month.
According to officials, the move by the Indian government to train Afghan army officers in Indian military universities will further increase Pakistan’s fear for being sieged.
Besides, India will also provide training facilities for the Afghan Air Force pilots and provide ligjt military arms to Afghan National Army soldiers.
The new strategic pact between the two nations will further pave the way for the India to influence its presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, which is the deadline for the complete withdrawal of all the NATO-led coalition forces from Afghanistan.
An Indian security official quoted by Reuters said, “As far as I know, Afghan Army officers and future Army trainers of Afghanistan are trained in Indian military universities so that they should become capable to participate in real war missions.”
In the meantime, analysts believe that India is struggling to further improve its influence in the region beyond 2014 by providing military trainings for Afghan Armed forces and boosting the capabilities of Afghan National Army soldiers besides the $2 billion which has been vowed by the Indian government in the infrastrcuture reconstruction of Afghanistan.
The strategic pact between Afghanistan and India is also considered to be re-ordering regional coalition which has been supported by the United States following the escalation of tensions between US and Islamabad.Joshua Foust, a security analyst at the American Security Project said, “I think it is a big deal which is having a support by New Delhi and Washington.”
Joshua Foust further added, they believe that this deal will not have any serious reaction, but I do not agree with them.
On the other hand, Pakistan which considers its self as the key player in resolving Afghan issues frequently warns for the influence of India in the region and emphasizes that India’s influence will destablize the region.
A retired India Army General, Ashok Mehta said, “The doors for the training of Afghan Air Force officers and Afghan police have been opened. Afghans are struggling to create an Army with the same level as the India Army which sould comprise of individuals from across the Afghanistan with variety of ethnic groups and religious groups.”
According to Gen. Mehta, Afghanistan does not consider an Army that is influenced by Islamic extemists.
Based on the strategic pact between the two nations, Afghanistan will be equipped by lights arms including rifles and rocket launchers from India to fill the vacuum of light weapons in the Afghan national army.
But Kamran Bukhari, deputy for the Middle East and South Asia affairs in STRATFOR intelligence advisory institution said, sharing of intelligence information between the two nations will be the most important section of Afghanistan-India partnership.
Mr. Bukhari further added, military cooperation between the two nations will be on a limited level as the two nations are not having borders because Pakistan is situated between them.
He said, but sharing intelligence informations will not require borders and the two nations will be able to do important works in this regard.
India training Afghan Army freightens Pakistan - KHAAMA PRESS | Afghan Online Newspaper & Magazine
Last edited by Galaxy; 10-11-11 at 12:57 PM.
India, Russia to deepen cooperation on Afghanistan, IBN Live News
India, Russia to deepen cooperation on Afghanistan
From Vinay Shukla Moscow, Nov 17 (PTI) India and Russia today agreed to deepen their cooperation for assisting war-ravaged Afghanistan to make it a democratic and pluralistic society capable of ensuring security to its people. "India's efforts are focused on the creation of a democratic, multi-party and pluralistic democracy in Afghanistan," External Affairs Minister SM Krishna today said. Responding to a question after his talks here with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, about the withdrawal of NATO-led forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and possibility of deployment of permanent US military in that country, Krishna said, "India shares special relations with Afghanistan. We are concerned at various developments In Afghanistan. We do realise that Afghan forces are not fully prepared to fight terrorism and the government of Afghanistan needs to be supported." Afghanistan was one of the key issues at Krishna's talks with Lavrov. The Russian foreign Minister underscored that both Moscow and New Delhi are for a democratic Afghanistan. He, however, expressed concern at the US plans to maintain its military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014 and called for transparency in this.
India Likely to Win Afghan Iron Ore MineAfghanistan's mining ministry has shortlisted the number of foreign investors interested to explore its iron ore rich Hajigak mine, and it is likely the mine will go to an Indian firm.Afghanistan's minister of mines Wahidullah Shahrani said Steel Authority of India Ltd. ( SAIL ) and mineral giant NMDC Ltd. were leading the pack of overseas companies from Canada, US and Iran, the Mineweb reported. A third Indian company, Ispat Alloys, was also included in the shortlist.SAIL and NMDC are part of India's government-led initiatives to boost its participation in Afghanistan, where India has pledged some $2 billion investments for the country.A consortium led by SAIL had bid for all the four Hajigak mining blocks. The Karzai local government has reportedly implied giving preference to companies that could set up a steel plant to improve the value of the Hajigak iron ore project.The iron ore rich Hajigak mine, located in Bamyan Province, contains the best known and largest iron oxide deposit in Afghanistan. The deposit itself extends over 32 kilometers. It covers 16 separate zones, up to 5 kilometers in length, 380 meters wide and extending 550 meters down.The mine could give up to $6 billion to the government's coffers.SAIL is India's largest steel producing company, while NMDC Ltd. is India 's largest iron ore miner. Both are state-owned.India opts to acquire mining companies overseas as creating new mines within the country are harder to develop and sustain given regulatory risks and struggles involving land acquisitions, displacement of locals and environmental clearances.
India Likely to Win Afghan Iron Ore Mine - NASDAQ.com
India, Russia & Afghan Stability
November 20, 2011 | By Devindra Sethi
There have been a range of responses to U.S. plans to extricate itself from Afghanistan by 2014, and nations in Central and South Asia have begun to plan accordingly.
India is one of the countries that have been forced to make tactical and strategic decisions on Afghanistan, and New Delhi has been formulating a new approach, which was ratified during the visit to India of Afghan President Hamid Karzai in October. The assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani in September crystallised this effort.
India’s strategic outlook has been spelled out in a treaty between the two countries, with a larger role planned for the Afghan National Army, which is to receive training and material support from the Indian armed forces. This comes as India’s defense posture in the Himalayas has been beefed up with the addition of mountain divisions stationed there on a permanent basis, with necessary air cover having been deployed.
Interestingly enough, Russia has concurred with this approach, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reportedly personally endorsing India’s role in Afghanistan. The latest modernization plan for the Russian armed forces reflects Putin’s thinking for his country until around 2025, and the new combined abilities and upgraded Special Forces will enable India and Russia to work to
stabilize the region.
The question is whether China will join forces with India and Russia to assist in ensuring the stability of Central Asia? And will other states in the region work to ensure regional harmony?
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has in recent days sought to use soft power to focus the attention of South Asian countries on the importance of stabilizing he region. At the recent SAARC summit in the Maldives, for example, the need for the peaceful rise of participating members was outlined in detail, using multiple economic levers such as most favoured nation status.
As the premier of the leading economic power in South Asia, Singh clearly outlined India’s commitment to the economies of the region, but also clearly stated that terror as a tool of state policy must be abandoned. In addition, he suggested that non-state actors who have previously been nourished must be brought to justice. How will the weak civilian government of Pakistan and the Maoist-led government of Nepal reconcile these suggestions? Hopefully, the promise of local security, along with the hoped for benefits of a stronger economic partnership, will tempt them to stay the course.
Most countries in Asia – and China in particular – are warily watching the tidal forces unleashed by the Arab Spring, which have washed away dynasties, autocratic governments and military dictatorships. These countries are now shoring up their societies as they foresee civil discontent rising, particularly among their young people. This reality should make it all the clearer to nations in South and Central Asia that they have a vested interest in being responsible actors and cooperating in a peaceful manner.
Only by fostering trust among each other will they be able to slowly develop peace and security in fragile Afghanistan.
India, Russia & Afghan Stability | Flashpoints
It would be better if India signs some kind of MoU's to get rights on afganisthan's rich oil resorces, one of our major imports is olis which costs billions of rupees, if we can get some of their oil, we can save some more money
Do you expect Afghanistan to give away the Petroleum free to India in order to save the money you are talking about? I do not get your rational? Can you kindly give us a lesson in the foreign trade that you might have studied?
The only saving grace that I see is that the transportation cost will be a wee bit less if it is brought to Chahbahar.
Of course, it will bond us closer in geostrategic terms.
And Afghans like India.
That is about all!
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