India may scale down Afghan operations

RPK

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http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/87506/India/India+may+scale+down+Afghan+operations.html

In a major development, India is looking at scaling down its relief and rehabilitation operations in Afghanistan.

According to ministry of home affairs (MHA) sources, India may scale down these operations over a period of 18 months following the recent attack on India nationals in Kabul.

The move comes days after the spate of attacks on Indians in Afghanistan. In the latest attack in Kabul, six Indians were killed last week.

Sources claim that an official advisory on the matter might be issued soon.

India had last week suspended its medical mission in Afghanistan after an attack though the other missions were operating as usual.

The government had also given an option to the Indians working there to return home if they felt insecure in the country.
 

RPK

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http://ibnlive.in.com/news/india-plans-retreat-from-afghanistan-after-attacks/111336-3.html

India plans retreat from Afghanistan after attacks

New Delhi: India plans to scale down its operations in Afghanistan and will advice its citizens in that country to return home, sources in the government have told CNN-IBN.

The government is considering paring down its presence at reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. Projects underway may be wrapped up quickly and there may be even a freeze on undertaking new projects.

Apart from the embassy in Kabul, the work of consulates in Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad may also be scaled down.

CNN-IBN learns the precarious security situation in Afghanistan--highlighted by the terrorist attacks targeting Indians in Kabul on February 26--is prompting a gradual but significant rethink in New Delhi.

The government has been forced to think to rethink its Afghanistan policy because of the precarious security situation in that country. Indian officials acknowledge that the political and military situation has deteriorated in Afghanistan.

Taliban terrorists, who are suspected to have had the support of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, had targeted the Indian embassy twice in the past. On July 7, 2008, 60 people, including four Indians--one IFS official and a brigadier-ranked official were killed in the attack, while on October 8 last year, four ITBP jawans were among those injured.
India plans retreat from Afghanistan after attacks
 

ahmedsid

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Its a sad news If true. Its like giving into the Taliban. But I feel this is needed if the Americans decide to Talk to the Taliban and bring them into Politics. If thats the case, then we have no use sitting there as ducks to be slaughtered!
 
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This is a sad day for the Afghan people after decades of war and instability the trend will not change.
 

p2prada

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Excellent news. This puts a lot of pressure on the Americans to deliver on what they started in the first place. US has been trying or has tried getting India into the Afghan mess militarily. Now, having India withdraw will only put pressure on the US military to further provide support to the Afghan govt with more aid and better security.

A mighty fine move.
 

Armand2REP

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GoI already said they weren't scaling back.
 

ajtr

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well thats the reality check for india GOI.they were trying to get too close to USA and went into afghanistan without any proper plan and long term strategy.Hence india has paid in money and blood and got nothing in return.Since 2001 all the GOI actions in MEA and PMO were mostly influenced by usa for what a only crumbs of civil nuke deal which is also not complete on reprocessing and has been watered down for what have been promised by usa.for that india lost relation with iran by voting against them annoyed russia by getting too close to usa.IT must be hard reality check for india that and must learn from pakistani examples like how many times they have been used and thrown by usa like condoms.even if GOI dont get her act together we gonna see wot being shifted to kashmir and india from AFPAK.AS USA has clearly been seen differentiating between terror groups that attack her and western interests(like taliban/AQ) from those of one which attack india.like(LET and other Kashmiri groups).

GOI has never had any long ter planning and strategy wrt pakistan and afghanistan since 1947.It just reacts to the particular situation.It never makes proactive strategy.IT sleeps over and allow the situation get out of hand over a period of time and then suddenly gets woke up one day by incidents like kargil or kashmirir millitancy or khalistani militancy or mumbai attacks and then it huffs and puffs and blows war horn just to find that its army is not prepared they dont have artillery guns and other equipment coz there also GOI was found to be asleep.After all this nonsense o they sing peace duet and run from the front to hide in its south block.

.....sorry for ranting.
 

ajtr

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Instead of spending and losing $ 1.5 billion in afghanistan without having any future strategy to protect it if GOI would have spent same money on maoist affected people it would have solve the maoist insurgency.
 

DaRk WaVe

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already posted in another thread but still........

Stranded in Afghanistan

National security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon went to Afghanistan a week after the terror attack on a small hotel housing mainly Indians, ostensibly to beef up security arrangements. While this was clearly one of the main tasks of his visit, it will not be speculation to add that a prime concern here is to re-gain India’s faltering grip in Kabul. More so after its diplomacy received a severe setback at the London Conference on Afghanistan where India was unable to garner support for its position in the region.

So while security is a pressing concern, India has become a target for the Taliban as well as various anti-India outfits operating in and out of Afghanistan. In the absence of a clear-cut strategy and vision, India finds itself isolated, with Turkey seizing the initiative to bring Islamabad and Kabul together on a ‘talk to Taliban’ policy. Pakistan, which has been spearheading a campaign to make India pull out of Afghanistan, has succeeded to a point where while New Delhi’s efforts at reconstruction are recognised by the West, its strategic considerations find no supporters. As the London Conference amply demonstrated the US and its NATO allies have decided to go along with the good and bad Taliban policy of Pakistan, drawing a distinction between the hardliners and moderates so as to begin talks with the latter.

On terrorism too Pakistan has been able to convince the world that it is as much a victim as India, and that it needs all the help it can get to protect its people from the extremists. It is of course true that terror has struck Pakistan hard and fast, but it is also true that Pakistan still seeks to protect those groups that it has used for terrorism within Jammu and Kashmir, and other parts of India. But given the fact that it has been able to convince the US under Barack Obama that it has dealt with, and is dealing with terrorism, it is now back in the good books of the western world and is not just recognised but also applauded as a worthy ally in the war against terrorism. The US knows, as does Pakistan, that the Obama exit policy cannot be possible without Islamabad’s help and support and is prepared to let the fires of Kashmir simmer, in return for dousing flames in Afghanistan.

One of the prime individuals behind Pakistan’s success in bringing the world around to what had appeared to be, and for India still is, a completely untenable stand is Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani. This quiet general who refuses to meet even the Pakistani media for interviews, keeps away from the spotlight, does not belong to the elite, has managed more than his predecessor did with his aggressive rhetoric. He has managed to convince Washington that the Pakistan Army can still perform through the successful operations in Swat and parts of Waziristan. Those who were sceptical of his prowess in Islamabad’s elite circles now admit that Kayani is a ‘professional’. He has also managed to win over some civilian support by convincing them that the army is not interested in political control.

As a result Pakistan has been able to reclaim its ‘strategic’ assets in Afghanistan and is presently brokering a dialogue with the Taliban, with full support of Afghan President Hamd Karzai who was earlier totally opposed to the idea. Menon, thus, has to rebuild fences with Karzai and ensure that Pakistan’s writ does not run in Afghanistan to a point where Indian interests in the region are jeopardised. This task was very achievable at one stage, but given India’s overconfidence and inability to think ahead, the advantage was lost last year.

It is true that India has made it clear that it will not close down consulates just because of absurd allegations by Pakistan, and will continue to remain engaged with the people of Afghanistan. But terror attacks are cutting into this resolve, in that pilots are now reluctant to fly Indian Airlines into Kabul, and doctors as well as others engaged in the process of reconstruction do not want to be part of the process. Security cannot be ensured as India is clearly being targeted, and the fact that the Americans are not particularly supportive was evident in Richard Holbrooke’s first remarks insisting that he did not think India was the target of the terrorists. He retracted subsequently, but the political significance of his first response was not lost in Kabul, Islamabad or New Delhi. The Americans have worked out their exit policy, and are moving frenetically forward. Pakistan is the ally, as is Karzai now, but India remains out on the fringes and is not essential to US strategy in the region except as a country that needs to be managed from time to time.

Instead of mindlessly succumbing to US pressure and US strategy for the region, New Delhi needs to urgently define its own interests and work out a related strategy. Talks with Pakistan, although very necessary, cannot be successful or pay India necessary dividends if these are not factored into a long-term policy for the region. Otherwise, as the recent foreign secretary level talks showed the exercise will be not just meaningless but even damaging to the peace process. Dialogue, thus, has to be factored into a strategic policy and not become the policy itself. It has started seeming for quite some time now that the government has outsourced thinking and policy making to the US, and quite happily accepts the finished product and starts implementing it without further thought.

Security for Indians in Afghanistan can only be possible if the terrorists know that any such action will draw the same response from the US and Afghan forces as if Americans or others were killed. And this can only be if India is able to get on to the same page as the rest. By now Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should have realised that India’s strength does not, and never can come from becoming a subordinate to the US. It comes from having a voice in the neighbourhood — West Asia, South Asia, China and Russia. Unfortunately the UPA government by following the policies initiated by the NDA, has ensured a certain marginalisation of India in the entire region. The reluctance to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation despite the enthusiasm of then Russian President Putin, the refusal to speak for the Palestinians, the inability to articulate a policy dear to West Asian hearts, the vote against Iran at the IAEA at a politically crucial time, the confused policy for Sri Lanka and Nepal… the list is long but suffice it to say that market economics can never be a substitute for sound diplomacy. After all if New Delhi does not speak for anyone, no one will stand up for it either. And this is now evident right at India’s door.

Stranded in Afghanistan
 

Rage

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Keepin' it real: the article says 'rescue and rehabilitation' missions will be wound down over a period of 18 months.

To put it simply, a lot can happen over 18 months. But let's go through a little exercise.

Let's qualify 'rescue missions': rescuing international aid workers, journalists, citizens and other foreigners from Taliban fighters that kidnap them and demand large sums in ransom.

Let's qualify 'rehabilitation': providing medical, physical, mental and financial aid or otherwise succor to those who've undergone ordeals or experienced adversity.

Now let's quantify them: With about 450 personnel of the Border Roads Organization (defending development works, including the lengthy Zaranj-Delaram hwy) and about 600 of the Indo Tibetan Border Force (guarding sensitive installations, diplomatic embassies and residences- and ostensibly also for 'rescue'- though I don't know if these are trained in these) and about six medical facilities providing 'rehabilitation'- the involvement can hardly be more than minuscule, though that is set to, and surprisingly, change: http://article.wn.com/view/2010/03/02/India_to_send_more_troops_to_Afghanistan/

All of these benefit the Afghans more than they do us. As has already been noted, the kind of development works India has been engaged in are the kind of development works the Afghans want, not the kind of works the Indians think would be beneficial to the Afghans or to their interests. What has peeved religious conservatives right off is that, unlike Western powers, India's involvement has actually won it support from the local populace, rather than contempt. They've responded by imposing bans on Indian soap operas, beheading Indian engineers and attacking [under purported ISI involvement] Indian convoys and embassies.

For the last eight years, we have not been deterred. I doubt an attack on 'residences' would squib our resolve now.
 
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Rage

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And voila!


India says no plan to scale down presence in Afghanistan

Wed, 03/10/2010 - 20:41
* National

New Delhi, March 10, 2010


India today denied reports that it was planning to scale down its presence in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the February 26 terrorist attacks in Kabul in which seven Indians and ten others were killed.

Responding to queries on the reports, which also said India was advising its citizens in the strife-torn country to return home, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs categorically dismissed them as "baseless and factually incorrect".

"India's commitment to its development partnership with Afghanistan remains diluted," the spokesperson said.

Last week, India announced it had temporarily suspended the Indian Medical Mission (IMM) in Kabul after the attack which had targeted the IMM.

At that time, too, the Government had made it clear that it would not scale down its other operations in Afghanistan despite the extremely difficult situation in the country.

The Indians killed in the suicide and car bomb attacks included a doctor in the IMM, Kabul.

The IMMs in Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazhar-e-Sharif are functioning normally.

Similarly, the Embassy of India in Kabul and its other offices in Afghanistan also continue to function normally.

National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon had visited Kabul last week to review the security for Indians and Indian facilities in Afghanistan after the latest attack. He had held talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other leaders and also visited the scene of the attack - two guest houses popular with Indians and other foreigners.


http://netindian.in/news/2010/03/10/0005704/india-says-no-plan-scale-down-presence-afghanistan
 
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http://sify.com/news/india-not-winding-up-afghanistan-operations-news-national-kdkvEfbafcb.html

India not winding up Afghanistan operations

India Wednesday rejected reports that it was winding up its operations in Afghanistan and stressed that its commitment to the development of the war-torn nation remains 'undiluted'.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said it was 'baseless and factually incorrect' that India was issuing an advisory to its citizens in Afghanistan to return home and was planning to scale down it's presence in the country.

'India's commitment to development partnership with Afghanistan remains undiluted,' Prakash said in a statement, amid media reports suggesting that the government was winding up all missions in Afghanistan in the wake of terror attacks in recent months targeting Indians and Indian facilities.

The external affairs ministry had last week clarified that Indian medical missions in Afghanistan have been functioning normally, barring the one in Kabul.

The other missions in Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif were functioning normally, the ministry said. India also has consulates in these cities.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon toured Afghanistan last week following the Feb 26 Kabul terror strike that killed seven Indians. He also stressed 'India will not scale down operations' in that country.
 

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India to scale down Afghan operations

NEW DELHI: India is looking at various options including scaling down operations of its missions in Afghanistan in the wake of terror attacks on Indians there.

Government is also planning to put all the Indians working in projects like power and road together to ensure their safety, reliable government sources said today.

This follows an assessment made by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon's visit to Kabul last week in the wake of terror attack on Feb 26 on guest houses frequented by Indians in which seven Indians were killed.

Apart from the embassy in Kabul, Indian has consulates in Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad.

The sources said that an advisory may also be issued asking all Indians in Afghanistan to return home.

They recalled that the operations of the Indian medical mission has already been put on hold after the Feb 26 attack in which the hand of Pakistan based LeT operatives is suspected.

Taliban terrorists, with backing from Pakistan's ISI, had targeted the Indian embassy twice in the past. On July 7, 2008, 60 people, including four Indians--one IFS official and a brigadier-ranked official were killed in the attack, while on Oct 8 last year, four ITBP jawans were among those injured.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...own-Afghan-operations/articleshow/5667990.cms
 

Armand2REP

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How many times does it have to be said? India is not scaling back, end of rumour.
 

Kinshuk

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it isn't like India is looking for some kind of treat in return, for the aid, it is providing to Afghanistan. Though it is clear now that India is not scaling down its operation in Afghanistan. But had it been the other way round, Afghanistan would have suffered a sudden quaint agony.

Our neighbors must have celebrated officials statement for a few hours.

Regards,

KS
 

ajtr

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India wary but won't scale down Afghanistan ops

NEW DELHI: India is not about to reduce its footprint in Afghanistan, but the home ministry says it will be issuing terror threat advisories to Indian citizens living and working in Afghanistan who are increasingly coming under attack from Pakistan-based terror groups.

Simultaneously, India, high level home ministry sources said, was stepping up security and moving more security personnel to Afghanistan to protect its facilities and people, primarily working in government projects. The foreign office, though, disagrees vehemently. Denying reports that India was scaling down its presence in Afghanistan, the MEA, in a statement, dismissed such reports as "being baseless and factually incorrect". "India's commitment to its development partnership with Afghanistan remains undiluted," it added.

Jayant Prasad, India's ambassador to Afghanistan, said, "Not a single project, not a single medical mission is being closed down." In fact, after the February 26 terror attack at guesthouses used only by Indians, senior officials were sent to interview all workers in medical missions in other parts of Afghanistan. "Everybody said they wanted to stay on," said an official. The Kabul medical mission has been temporarily shut after it was hit by Pakistani terrorists.

The threat to Indian citizens was not from Afghans but from Pakistani groups, officials said. To that extent, India was stepping up its security presence in Afghanistan to protect its facilities and its projects. At particular risk from Pakistan are Indian consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar.

But it will be physically impossible to secure private projects that employ Indians, because many of them are overseas projects. And intelligence inputs say that Indian citizens will be targeted by Pakistani terror groups because Pakistan is making a determined push to get India out of Afghanistan.

In many ways, India is feeling the cost of keeping its presence in Afghanistan confined to its "soft power", because it gives Pakistan unbridled opportunity to hit India, put India on the defensive. And since India has not developed any offensive capacity, it is now going to constantly battle perceptions that it is running scared.
 

Vinod2070

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There is still some lack of clarity about what is going to happen. Possibly USA may have decided to reward Pakistan for its bad behavior and thrown in the towel. Possibly it may be part of a bigger game and we will see some new scenario in the coming days.

I agree with K. Subramanyam's analysis on this issue.

Four alternative scenarios are possible. First, the US outsourcing the Taliban neutralisation and buying to Pakistan willingly. This is the one popular with our strategic establishment. Second, the Pakistanis are sincerely cooperating with the US. This is perhaps the least likely scenario. Third, the Pakistanis trying out a second deception on the US successfully, with as adverse consequences as happened in seven years of Bush gullibility. The deception proceeds halfway and the US wakes up to it resulting in confrontation between the US and Pakistan. Last, the US is aware of the deception and has its counter-plans ready. Pakistan has a history of being overconfident and launching misadventures and coming to grief as the history of the 1965, 1971 and 1999 wars against India and their own terrorists turning against them prove.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-second-deception/586157/0

The first scenario (and the third one) are the worst ones for India. Even if that happens, it is the Afghans who will suffer the most. Pakistan civil society will be the next major loser with the hardliners and extremists getting a major boost. If Afghanistan falls to the Taliban, Pakistan will not be far behind.

For India, it will be back to the bad days of 1990s when we suffered big losses at the hands of Pakistan sponsored terrorists enjoying a safe heaven in Afghanistan and many parts of Pakistan. That decade was still a successful decade for India. Terror can't do much more than put a minor dent in India's progress. We can make Pakistan pay several times more in the same game and their capacity to absorb that is much less than us.

There may possibly be another attack on a major Western target from the Af-Pak and this time there will likely be no talk of nation building. It may be a war of annihilation fought with the buffs and nukes.

I hope it doesn't happen but this remains a likely scenario in my opinion.
 

ajtr

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LOL...GOI is behaving like pigeons do when cat placed among them.there is no synchronization between different ministries.Minsitry of external affairs dont know what ministry of home affairs doing.thats why we had reports in the evening from MHA of scaling down operations in afghanistan.then MEA denies it in late night.And Again in night only MHA issues advisory.And PMO is confused as ever like nero.

New Delhi may advise Indians to leave Kabul

NEW DELHI: The looming terror threat to Indians in Afghanistan has led New Delhi to consider advising its citizens employed with private entities

there to return to their homeland, as it was not possible for the government agencies to ensure their security.

The advisory, which government sources here said would be issued soon, looks at sensitising the nearly 4,000 Indian citizens engaged in private works and projects in Afghanistan to the possibility of their being hit as part of Taliban’s plans to go after soft Indian targets.

“We have decided to make them aware of the increased threat from terror outfits and tell them that the government of India cannot protect motley groups of private Indian workers spread all over Afghanistan. So, either they look after their own security or return to India in the interest of their safety,” a senior government functionary said on Wednesday.

Officially, however, the MEA denied any move to issue an advisory to its citizens in Afghanistan to return home. An MEA spokeperson on Wednesday dismissed such reports as “baseless and factually incorrect” . “India’s commitment to its development partnership with Afghanistan remains undiluted,” the spokesperson clarified.

To ensure that no harm comes to the government-aided relief and reconstruction missions engaged in Afghanistan, New Delhi has also decided to flock their staff together and house them either within the compound wall of the existing Indian missions or in separate complexes to be perimeter-protected with a thick boundary wall. The Kabul embassy will be the first to get such secure addresses for visiting relief missions, which will then be replicated in the consulates at Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharief and Herat. Additional Central forces are likely to be brought in to protect these new residential complexes.

All these measures come in the wake of NSA Shivshankar Menon’s recent trip to Kabul to review the security of Indians there. His visit followed the February 26 blasts at a Kabul hotel that left seven Indians dead.

Meanwhile, in an interesting development , the Afghanistan agencies have linked the March 4 killings of five Pakistani road construction workers in Kandahar to the Taliban. Though Pakistan had alleged that the Indian agencies had engineered the Kandahar killings in retaliation against the February 26 attack, the investigators later traced the killings to Taliban. The Taliban, the Afghan agencies discovered, had killed the five Pakistani workers mistaking them to be Indians.

Gates signals early pullout

In a move that is expected to have major implications for the region, US defence secretary Robert Gates has said that US troop withdrawal could begin even before President Barack Obama’s announced date of July 2011. Indicating the seriousness of the US goal to start withdrawing troops, Mr Gates, however, said such a withdrawal would be “conditions-based” . He said: “We will begin that transition no later than July of 2011, but the pace will depend also on conditions on the ground.” But the support for scaling down of troops is clearly increasing within Afghanistan.

Afghan defence minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said that his country is ashamed to have foreigners defending the country. “I hope by that time we will be able to have the responsibility for the physical security of the country in different regions,” the Afghan minister was quoted as saying. “That process will continue as we go further and the numbers increase and our capabilities increase,” he further added.

According to reports, the goal is to expand the Afghan National Army to 1,71,000 by then, and the police force to 1,34,000. In light of the changing dynamics in Afghanistan, India is discussing Afghanistan with concerned countries. Afghanistan is expected to be one of the topics of discussions when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
 
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Sridhar

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here is official version . with this the thread is being closed and will be reopened if there is any change .

Official Spokesperson on India’s development partnership with Afghanistan
10/03/2010
In response to queries regarding reports that India is issuing an advisory to its citizens in Afghanistan to return home and is planning to scale down it's presence in Afghanistan, the Official Spokesperson categorically dismissed such reports as being baseless and factually incorrect. India's commitment to its development partnership with Afghanistan remains undiluted.

New Delhi
March 10, 2010

Press BriefingsMinistry of External Affairs, New Delhi
http://meaindia.nic.in/cgi-bin/db2w...=pb&filename=pressbriefing/2010/03/10pb01.htm
 

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