India’s Modi faces tough Afghan choices

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by Neo, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    India’s Modi faces tough Afghan choices
    By M.K. Bhadrakumar on August 17, 2015 in Asia Times News & Features, M.K. Bhadrakumar, South Asia

    Two powerful arguments, diametrically opposed to each other, have appeared in the recent days regarding the stance India should adopt vis-à-vis the leadership crisis within the Taliban following the death of Mullah Omar and its downstream reverberations, including the heightened tensions in Afghan-Pakistan relations.

    Writing in the New York Times, the noted South Asia hand and author Anatol Lieven and in the Indian newspaper Business Standard, former Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran have ably argued two contrarian opinions.

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    Afghanistan’s Ghani and India’s Modi at meeting

    Succinctly put, Lieven argues, here, that given the looming terrorist threat to regional security, including India’s, posed by the increased risk of metastasis taking place within the Taliban and radical elements linking up with the Islamic State, New Delhi (and other major capitals such as Washington, Beijing, Moscow, etc.) is well advised to come together with Pakistan in its self-interests and the larger interests of regional security and stability.

    Saran subscribes to a contrary view, here, that the breakdown in Afghan-Pakistan relations is inevitable since Islamabad never really was sincere about the peace talks and has consistently followed a diabolical policy of doublespeak. The developing scenario, therefore, presents India with a great opportunity to play itself back into the Afghan chessboard. To kickstart the new great game, Saran advises Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make “a quick visit to Kabul to register Indian solidarity”.

    Without doubt, Saran may have presented a fairly accurate picture of the prevailing mood within the Indian foreign and security policy establishment, while Lieven has given drawn on his vast experience of the Af-Pak to present a realistic picture of the regional security scenario and thumb sketch India’s potential role in it as a ‘stakeholder’.

    The main flaw in Saran’s critique is that he seems unaware that the Afghan cauldron is actually very muddied and the political situation surrounding President Ashraf Ghani has become very sensitive lately and could even assume an existential overtone in the period ahead.

    On the other hand, Lieven’s weak point is that he completely overlooks the state of play in India-Pakistan relations. The militant ideology of Hindu nationalism that provides the bedrock of the present Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi generates a profound distrust in Pakistan regarding India’s intentions and the gung-ho statements of top Indian officials are not helping matters, ruling out all an India-Pakistan reconciliation – even tactical cooperation in the fight against terrorism – in a foreseeable future.

    Actually, Lieven might not have written his Op-Ed if he had the occasion to read Saran’s piece (which appeared a week later). Nor is it likely that Saran read and reflected over Lieven’s thoughtful piece.

    Would Modi take Saran’s advice and make a quick dash to Kabul to throw in his hat in the AfPak ring and offer to take Ghani’s fight right into the Pakistani camp? I hope not.

    The point is, there is a dangerous fluidity in the political alignments in Kabul. To be sure, Ghani was taken by surprise when sections within the Afghan establishment broke the news of the Mullah Omar myth on the eve of the second round of the peace talks in Pakistan.

    What it points at is that there are serious limits to Ghani’s writ in Kabul. Ghani is saddled with a security establishment from the previous presidency of Hamid Karzai – in fact, the spy chief of the Karzai era still keeps his job – which never really accepted his policy of rapprochement with Pakistan or his efforts to engage the Taliban in peace talks.

    Just when it seemed that an understanding on a ceasefire might be within sight via the peace talks, the hardliners in the Kabul set-up struck. It was a masterly stroke as it threw the Taliban into great disarray, scuttled the peace talks, humiliated the Pakistani military and the Inter-Services Intelligence (which retaliated with the devastating bomb attacks in Kabul) and eventually forced Ghani to ride the wave of Afghan nationalism.

    In the perception of the hardliners in Kabul, the politico-military situation is ideal today to push for a military solution now that the Taliban is a weakened entity and its narrative has floundered.

    Typical is the remark by the old Tajik war horse Atta Mohammed Nur who thinks that “defeating the Taliban is a very real possibility now.” Another warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum has alleged that Pakistan’s ISI is solely responsible for the ongoing violence in his country.

    Interestingly, both Atta and Dostum hold official positions – the former is the governor of Balkh province and the latter is the first vice-president of the country. And they also happen to be the most powerful warlords in Afghanistan.

    In essence, they have publicly endorsed the thinking of the hardliners in the Afghan Intelligence National Directorate of Security headed by Rahmatullah Nabil (who is known to have resisted Ghani’s move to forge a security pact between his agency and the ISI.)

    Suffice it to say, it pays to look ahead and visualize what all could happen if the war lobby in Kabul prevails.

    Obviously, there is no military solution to the Afghan problem. But a prolonged brutal war is possible. Who stands to gain?

    Ghani has no military record. He commands no militia, either. Besides, he also lacks a political constituency of his own, having been catapulted to power by the Americans on the back of an amorphous coalition of Pashtuns and Uzbek tribes and with the help of Pakistan.

    In a protracted war, Ghani will be aspiring to command tough wily war horses like Atta and Dostum, who are not known to be amenable to discipline and invariably would have their own private agenda.

    It is not hard to see that at some point Ghani will become expendable. In sum, Afghanistan’s political system is in serious jeopardy of being destroyed if the war continues.

    Therefore, Ghani’s interests are best served by resuming the peace talks. Fortunately, his political interests also coincide with his country’s. There is no real alternative to reconciliation with the Taliban. Lieven is spot on when he writes,

    “U.S. leadership is essential. President Obama has laid out the basis for an accord by developing a working relationship with all the countries of the region.

    “Bolstered by the fact that Russia helped the United States reach a nuclear accord with Iran, the collective interest in fighting ISIS offers another opportunity for international cooperation. Nations like the United States, Russia, India and Pakistan may have differing interests, but the Islamic State represents a threat to modern civilization itself — and to the goals and aspirations that these states, each in their own way, share”.

    Most certainly, what Afghanistan doesn’t need is more of the ‘great game’. India should not try to fish in the troubled waters. As a responsible regional power, its role should be to heal the Afghan wounds, not to feast on the blood that oozes out of them.

    (Copyright 2015 Asia Times Holdings Limited, a duly registered Hong Kong company. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

    http://atimes.com/2015/08/indias-modi-faces-tough-afghan-choices/
     
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  3. raja696

    raja696 Regular Member

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    yes heal the wounds but ready them for self defense... article is good but given morale on one side of a coin.
     
    Neo likes this.
  4. Neo

    Neo Senior Member Senior Member

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    Please elaborate the other side of the coin.
    Curuius to hear your pov.
     
  5. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    It appears that the writer is a fanboy of "Aman ki Asha".
     
  6. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    Does this writer knows about these things................................... I wonder.!

     
    Ankit Purohit and blueblood like this.
  7. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    :D

    ROFL

    Actually...all the nations are teaming against Pakistan. Looks like Pak is going to be in the middle of a big WoT orgy.

    Pakistan has been using Taliban to bleed Afghan and still uses Talibunnies. India has investments in Afghan and political interests. INdia needs a strong afghan for regional stability.
    I wonder what the writer smoked when he wrote this article.


    Ghani's lack of expertise resulted in the PEACE TALKS with Pakistan, coupled with lots of failed moves to make Pakistan Happy.
    End result..Talib advances in Afghan.
     
  8. raja696

    raja696 Regular Member

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    :prison::prison::prison:................................................................

    how to delete a comment bro?
     
  9. blue marlin

    blue marlin Regular Member

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    india lost Afghanistan when ghani was pm.
     
  10. Arun Krishnan

    Arun Krishnan New Member

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    Militant ideology of Hindu nationalism,erm this is a grossly false statement.
    Secondly you just need to understand whats happening to Pakistan's counterterror allies US,take their funds and kill their soldiers across the border.
    Thirdly there will never be Indian boots in Afghanistan
    Finally Hindu nationalism is not identifying with religion but with ancestry and culture.

    PS: I am a proud hindu aka hindu nationalist or whatever,come from a southern state of India,we don't care much for Pakistan
     
  11. guru-dutt

    guru-dutt Regular Member

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    how and why care to explain ?

    there are few things we should know

    1.afghans have till date not recognised pakistan or durand line

    2.WAR is a cottage industry of afghanistan since the recorded history is avilable

    3.Most afghans have started to see light at the end of tunnle but see pakistan as the biggest obstacle in its path

    4.India always invested is ecucational and health and gro & power related infra so no matter how pro pakistan a afghan is he sees india as an asset to afghanistan what happens to pakistan is none of there concern

    5.most afghans feel pakistan systamticali destroyrd every good thing in afghanistan for its own "strategick depth in afghanistan"

    now for NaMo's choices well since we are not connected to afghan by land there will always be a problem to engage them the way we want so dont bother too much about it
     
  12. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    Not at all !! Ghani is hostage to Northern Alliance ...
     
  13. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    Don't pretend to be an expert Mr. One Liner when you are not. India will not abandon Afghanistan. Few setbacks won't deter our future course.
     
  14. Sylex21

    Sylex21 Regular Member

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    Afghanistan is going to play a balancing game and follow its own best interests and internal power struggles. Sometimes India will get the upper hand, sometimes Pakistan for a while, but things will eventually swing back the other way for a while again, because Afghanistan does not want to become subject too much to any one power.

    Overall I see it as a net loss for Pakistan which enjoyed massive control over Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. Afghanistan's self interests are more likely to lean towards India as India doesn't have a history of controlling Afghanistan to anywhere near the same level Pakistan did over the years.

    The Afghan people see Pakistan rightfully as a potential threat and India at worst as running around messing around with Pakistan in Afghanistan. It doesn't take a genius to figure out which way Afghanistan will lean long term given the advantages of cooperating with India over Pakistan.
     
  15. I_PLAY_BAD

    I_PLAY_BAD Regular Member

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    Pakistan did one thing which is good for Afghanistan. Bringing China into the fold.
    The fact is Chinese presence won't affect Indian activities in Afghanistan because in another man's land we do what he desires us to. Indian and china will invest competitively which will stabilize and grow Afghanistan rapidly.
    20 years down the line Afghanistan will be more powerful than Pakistan.

    Chinese presence a boon to Pakistan's footprint? Hell no.
    China is a pure businessman who will only concentrate on getting his money back.
    If Pakistan thinks China will deploy troops for its benefits then it is wrong. Because the modern Afghan regime will not allow its land as a ground for regional hegemony.

    Pakistan is going to pay for all it did in Afghanistan all these years. Hatred towards Pakistan has reached the Afghanistan's civilian level which will never change.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  16. Nicky G

    Nicky G Senior Member Senior Member

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    Your point is as silly as any Paki I have had the misfortune to interact with. Afghanistan is important for India and we'll always always a find a way to win it back.

    Now, post the attack on Afghan parliament and the sheer stupidity of Pak propaganda to blame attack of PAF airbase on Afghanistan with continuous dropping trade, its Pak and China which face a tough time in Afghanistan.

    The British helped you put someone very unpopular in power in Afghanistan, the ground support for his is non-existent, something we will and have utilized. Though, the battle continues.

    Meanwhile, for your 'enjoyment'

    Afghanistan, India, Iran meet to finalize Chabahar Agreement
     
  17. blue marlin

    blue marlin Regular Member

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    are you ok? afgan parliment.... british troops...paf base attack... talk sense then come back.
     
  18. The enlightened

    The enlightened Regular Member

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    What else can you expect from these JNU jhollawalla types.
     
  19. Nicky G

    Nicky G Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hmm.. is that a childish attempt at diversion or are you just seriously intellectually challenged?

    First, I never mentioned British troops. Aside from that what else is not explicit in your list? Did you skip through attack on Kabul and PAF base followed by the retarded Paki intelligence blaming Afghanistan?

    Someone who makes comment such as one Afghani leader meaning India lost Afghanistan should really not be talking sense - if you mean Paki sense, that's another matter.

    So go ask someone with better comprehension, think up some counters and come back.
     
  20. blue marlin

    blue marlin Regular Member

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    during Hamid karzia's tenure of being president, i remember new paper articles of how he openly blamed Pakistan for the problem, and supported india. it would be obvious to assume Pakistan was angry with his policy and wheres theres smoke theres fire. many found karzia's foreign policy suicidal for Afghanistan and many countries never helped to encourage peace. ghani recognised this, and once he became presidant he was significantly more willing to work with pakistan as opposed to india. also foreign support came from china, russia and from all over the world more in particular SCO and OIC.

    its like two people fighting over one thing, and only one can have it. if one has it then the other will fight for it.

    well i dont care, border we gave them is the border their having, beside when was the last time you heard about the durand line?

    so very true


    it is the other way around, refer to the first paragraph.



    i couldnt understand what you said here.



    please quote and dont make false accusations. a pakistani or a Chinese and a sri lankan can say the same about india. it's not nice making false accusations
     
  21. Nicky G

    Nicky G Senior Member Senior Member

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    Meanwhile, more Aghani love for the terror state of Pakis. :rofl:

    Hundreds of Afghans Stage Protest Rally in UK against Pakistan’s Interference

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    TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of Afghans living in the United Kingdom (UK) staged a peaceful demonstration in front of Pakistan High Commission in London to protest Pakistan’s involvement in Afghan affairs.
    The protest was attended by British Afghan community groups, student associations, youth networks, civil society activists, renowned Afghan scholars, poets and writers who expressed anger over to the recent escalation of violence including a wave of suicide attacks in Kabul that left dozens of civilians killed and hundreds of others wounded, Tolonews reported.

    Protesters said that Taliban, Haqqani Network and other terrorist groups in Pakistan are carrying out attacks in Afghanistan that claim the lives of innocent civilians including children and women and as well as foreign aid workers and Afghan and international security forces.

    Protesters warned that the fire which is currently burning Afghanistan would eventually reach to Lahore and Islamabad.

    “The aim of the protest is to raise our voice against the killing of innocent Afghan brethren and tell the perpetrators to stop their murderous campaigns. Recent spate of suicide attacks such as the ones in Kabul that took the life of hundreds of innocent Afghans is no more bearable”, said Ahmad Farid Mall, from Afghan Association Paiwand and a participant of the demonstration.

    Rahela Siddiqui, Refugee Woman for Woman, said “It’s now clear to the world that Pakistan is the nest of terrorism. Pakistan military and intelligence agencies provided safe havens for Osama Ben-Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Mullah Omar, Haqqani Network leaders who were responsible for September 11 attacks, 7/7 London bombings and numerous other major attacks around the world. The world cannot afford to stand by and watch Pakistan go about its own business. It must take stringent action against Pakistan to stop the export of terrorism”.

    “Though the two-faced military regime in Pakistan pledged support in the fight against terrorism, they covertly provided Al-Qaeda, Taliban and Haqqani Network sanctuaries inside Pakistan and supported them to regroup and launch a murderous campaign in Afghanistan”, said Awesta Telyar Azada, a UK-based woman rights and civil society activist, insisting that: “The UN security council should consider declaring Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism.”

    The protesters demanded Pakistan to immediately put an end to its destructive policies in Afghanistan.

    Demonstrators ultimately submitted their resolution to Pakistan High Commission and demanded that terrorist sanctuaries must be eliminated in Pakistan.
     

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