India, Iran, Russia mull ways to take on Taliban

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by A.V., Mar 24, 2009.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    NEW DELHI: It's still part of conversations, but old partners, India, Iran and Russia, are dusting out an old mechanism to take on the Taliban in
    Afghanistan.


    All three countries are still at an exploratory stage, but some articulated realities and possibilities are spurring on these discussions. First, the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is giving the Taliban and other Pakistan-sponsored jihadists a growing space. Second, a fear that the US and NATO, in their eagerness to craft out an exit strategy in Afghanistan, might fall for a Pakistan-assisted scheme to put some Taliban elements dressed up as "moderate" in charge of governing Afghanistan.

    The first time this will be discussed more fully will be during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's ministerial meeting in Moscow on March 27. Both Iran and India will attend the SCO meet. Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki was in Mazar-e-Sharif last weekend to meet officials from Afghanistan and Tajikistan. India has been much more quiet. But Russia, in its capacity as SCO chairman, is taking a more hands-on position.

    It has indicated that Iran might be more comfortable working with Russia and India under the SCO rubric than the US-led effort. The US and Nato are organizing a "big tent" meeting in The Hague on March 31, also on Afghanistan.

    Iran has a lot of clout inside Afghanistan due to its ethnic and religious connections with the ethnic Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras. India has steadily built up a lot of equity with its relentless commitment in the developmental field.

    Russia has recently entered the Afghanistan equation, and has reportedly allowed the US to transport weaponry through its territory to reach Afghanistan. Currently, the US uses Pakistan, which comes under regular Taliban fire. Interestingly, among the other possibilities, the US is also looking at using the India-built Zaranj-Delaram road from Chahbahar port to enter Afghanistan from Iran. Iran, therefore, is emerging as a key player yet again in the Afghan sweepstakes.

    The tri-nation strategy is not yet clear, apart from the fact that the Taliban have to be roundly defeated. This time, there is no Northern Alliance that ensured the defeat of the Taliban in 2001. So for an alternate strategy to work, a different structure would have to be cobbled together.

    What is not yet clear is whether there can be some kind of coordination between Afghanistan's neighbours and the Nato-US initiative. Nevertheless, the great game is now fully joined.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ys-to-take-on-Taliban/articleshow/4306744.cms
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    One thing is for sure, the US led war in A-stan cannot be allowed to fail. It will spell trouble for the rest of the civilized world. If US withdraws, you will get a new country in the world with one less on the world map, Talibinistan comprising of A-stan and P-stan.

    China too might be willing to get involved as it has its own problems with terrorism. Im sure the US will be willing to accommodate Iran at some point of time when it gets really desperate.
     
  4. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    afghanistan is of multipurpose importance to india so it gets important for india to be present in that part of the world in some form or the other. right now the things remain under the wraps but if the need arises and if we were required to come up with a more open policy where we are seen as one of the prominent stake holders then we should in no way shy away from taking the responsibility. this part of the world in times to come will be of immense importance to the stability of india and if we have to continue rising both economically and militarily the way we are doing then we have to exert ourselves because whatever happens in this part of the world will have its repercussions in our part of the world. afghanistan further gives us an opportunity to increase our status as a rising regional power beyond the shackles of south asia, a thought with which we need to get accustomed to and a level of politics our leaders and diplomats alike need to be working on not only covertly but out there at various international forums. personally i will be very happy to see the american off this region for the back stabbers will not be around but they will as usual play their part through the back doors by using the offices of the isi, in short to mid term american presence is of use but in the long term this is thought we should never be comfortable with for their foreign policy changes at the drop of a hat and who knows tomorrow that part of the world could well be used against us.


    lets start by examining the importance of this country to us from purely an economic point. in times to come india's energy needs are only going to grow and this massive appetite is not just limited to india. we will face a situation where india, prc, US and others alike are going to be each others competitors and probably fierce ones at that, people have gone to the extent of saying that a possible reason for the next world war could be the control over the energy needs. take a look at the reasons behind the attack of US on iraq and the one planned on iran and somewhere it will hint at oil and gas reserves eyed by uncle sam. this takes us in one direction and that is to make sure that we secure our energy needs not only for today but for decades to follow as some day confrontation will happen when we all strive to get hold of the same energy resources. india's involvement in supporting iran in the development of port chabahar has to bee seen in the same light, and then the recent development of the highway that connects this port with the central asia passing through afghanistan. central asia is a region rich in gas and one of the safest transit points to that part of the world is through afghanistan, though gwadar is there as an option but that is an option best avoided.


    now lets look at a larger issue and that is the imminent spread of good taliban which will only make this region a breeding ground for regional and world wide terrorism, and something that will effect us indians tremendously. if we want a safer tomorrow (in relative terms) then our presence is very important and we need to create areas where such spread is not allowed and areas where we have complete control and make sure that by doing that our interests are addressed as per our wishes. in this case we need to have a multi prolonged strategy which can be right from collaborating with russia, iran and the west and address all situations that arise so that our interests are not hurt in any which way. other than this it gets extremely important that we deal with the locals directly and they understand that if indians are there then they are to safe guard their interests, and this can only be achieved by winning the hearts of the locals which of course can be done by giving humanitarian aid as need be, building requisite infrastructure that directly impacts the day to day life of the locals, hospitals, educational institutions, get our foot prints deep in the security agencies of afghanistan so that they will always address our concerns and this can be tackled as the situation arises by way of carrot and stick.


    a bigger issue is the emergence of prc its use of port gawadar, its military ambitions being furthered in that part of the world in the name of securing its shipping lanes and its ambition of cornering india by using the strategy string of pearls. here again a part of the solution will remain in the form of afghanistan from where the fight against the oppression in baluchistan can be kept alive, by doing this that region of pakistan remains an unstable region and this will force the chinese to be on their toes. the most important factor is to check the influence of pakistan in that part of the world, which has always used that region against the vital interests of our country and has also directly threatened india by way of hijacking and indian airlines aircraft in 1999. it is good that india has its consulates spread across afghanistan as that partly checks the other regions but here india does need to spread its influence beyond the boundary walls of kabul and move more east of that country, as those are the regions where pakistan exerts most of its influence.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    this GOOD TALIBAN talk started when USA/NATO realized they are defeated in Afghanistan-a 40 nation NATO coalition defeated by one of the poorest so called Third world countries in the world ;does not look good for them.
     
  6. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    This thread has already been created by me earlier... Please merge both...
     
  7. GokuInd

    GokuInd Regular Member

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    There is no such thing as Good Taliban, never has been. They showed their mindset, when they destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas.
     
  8. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India, Russia, Iran explore anti-Taliban strategy

    With Pakistan trying to broker a deal with the Taliban and recent leaks exposing the sordid saga of Islamabad's role in Afghanistan, India, Iran and Russia are coming together on the same page in what could possibly be a replay of 2001 when they backed the Northern Alliance's campaign to oust the Taliban regime from Kabul.

    Closer coordination on countering the Taliban in Afghanistan figured prominently in discussions between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Russian first deputy foreign minister Andrei Denisov in Moscow Monday, well-placed sources told IANS.

    The Russian side briefed Rao about President Dmitry Medvedev's plan to hold a trilateral summit later this month with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, said the sources.

    'Both India and Russia are inching closer on a regional approach and have shared interests in preventing a Taliban takeover after the US troops leave,' Arun Mohanty, an expert on India-Russia relations, told IANS.

    The two sides are expected to firm up their strategic understanding at a meeting that Moscow is planning to host for senior officials/foreign ministers of India, Russia, Tajikistan and Afghanistan later this month, said the sources.

    Moscow, too, has its own apprehensions about the Taliban as it fears the spillover effects on its periphery and in Central Asian republics where some Islamist networks are active. Ahead of last month's Kabul conference on Afghanistan's future, Russia had echoed India's view that 'there is no good or bad Taliban'.

    Rao returns to New Delhi to hold talks with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali Fathollahi Thursday where the Afghan situation is expected to dominate the discussions.

    The two countries, along with Russia, had backed the Northern Alliance in the days leading to the ouster of the Taliban regime in 2001. In their meeting in New Delhi last month, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs Syed Shamsheddin Hosseini had decided to hold 'structured and regular consultations' on closer cooperation in Afghanistan.

    The Iranian side has assured India of accelerating the pace of work at Chabahhar port that will provide Indian goods an alternative access route to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. Due to the worrying Afghan situation and its energy security concerns, India is looking for ways to dodge the US and UN sanctions against Tehran and signed six pacts with Iran last month, including an air services agreement.

    Shia majority Iran has influence over Hazara tribes in Afghanistan and resent Sunni-Pashtun Taliban's influence on its periphery.

    India, Russia and Iran intensified consultations over the Afghan situation, specially since the Jan 20 London conference cleared the decks for the reintegration of the Taliban, a contentious proposal which was reaffirmed six months later at the July 20 international conference in Kabul.

    The proposal has not gone down well with the three countries, who see in the Taliban reintegration a ploy to expand Pakistan's role in Afghanistan and a spur to Islamist militancy on their borders.

    Of the three, India is the one which is directly affected as a Taliban takeover will directly impinge on its security interests.

    The recent leaks of 92,000 classified US military documents by WikiLeaks, an online whistle-blower, have brought into the public domain the staggering scale of Pakistan's military-ISI combine's role in inciting insurgency in Afghanistan and in promoting anti-India activities through its militant proxies like the Taliban, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Haqqani network.

    In fresh disclosures, Chris Alexander, a former Canadian ambassador to Kabul, has revealed that Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has told Afghan President Hamid Karzai that he can broker a peace deal with the Taliban - only if Indian consulates in Afghanistan are closed down.

    (Manish Chand can be contacted at [email protected])
     
  9. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    According to Wikileaks documents revealed lately, iran has been funding the taliban to counter US.

    Aren't India and Russia will be doing the same mistake that US is doing by funding Pak and ISI who intern fund Taliban ??? Besides will Afghanis be comfortable with a former invader Russia (formerly Soviet) coming back to their country ????
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  10. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    What exactly do you mean by that statement, Neo ?? We and the Russians are no way going to fund the Taliban !!!
     
  11. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    If the Taliban do come then the old NA will have to be revived with other like minded ethnic groups in Afghanistan. Towards this India has taken the first step towards engaging Iran. India will have to carefully calibrate it's policies in the post Nato environment, be more nimble and fleet footed.
     
  12. Rahul Singh

    Rahul Singh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Islamic terrorism is a fundamental problem today and it is not restricted to Taliban alone. India and Russia may work down strategy to curb Taliban as both of them are victims of Islamic Terrorism but not Iran. Iran is a godfather and also something like proprietor of Hezbollah -- a terrorist organisation-- and hence should not be trusted.
     
  13. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Wiki leaks says Iran funds Taliban. A joint effort with Iran means pooling of money. Its a scenario that Iran will help anti taliban but behind our backs will fund Taliban. Hence its similar to ISI who gets US funds to fight taliban but end up funding it from behind.

    Wont Iran be doing the same thing if this joint effort is made indirectly making India fund taliban too???
     

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