After the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, a debate has erupted over the Taliban’s relations with other countries of the world. While some countries have made their position clear regarding relations with the Taliban, some have remained silent. In such a situation, the question arises that what will be India’s strategy regarding the Taliban. After all, how will India-Taliban relations be in future. What will be India’s diplomacy? What will happen in the interest of India? On questions like what will be the effect of China and Pakistan’s proximity to Taliban on India’s relations, Prof. Harsh Pant’s opinion.
Should India do Backdoor Diplomacy?
In response to this question, Prof. Pant said that India’s latest stand after the withdrawal of US troops shows that it is no longer in favor of backdoor diplomacy with the Taliban. He said that with the withdrawal of American troops, the future of Afghanistan is now entirely in the hands of the Taliban. In such a situation, India will have to change its diplomacy regarding the Taliban. This is the need of the hour. He said that India’s strategy regarding the Taliban has been successful. In the case of Afghanistan, India has acted very patiently. This is the reason why Taliban has adopted a positive attitude towards India. To maintain its investments in Afghanistan and access to Central Asia from there, India needed to open new channels of open dialogue with the Taliban.
What kind of strategy should India adopt?
India should not bet too soon in the case of Taliban. He said that until a clear form of government in the Taliban is revealed, the situation of wait and watch is better. He said that this is part of India’s well thought out strategy. Pant said that India’s relationship with Taliban is one hand and one take. Taliban wants trade with India. India also wants that anti-India activities should be stopped from Afghanistan’s soil.
What is the big challenge in relations with Taliban?
He said that if we talk about the benefits, then it would be better for India to have friendly relations with Afghanistan. There are big reasons for this. India has invested heavily in Afghanistan. Second, a large number of Indians are stranded in Afghanistan. Third, a new threat has arisen regarding terrorist activities in the Kashmir Valley. But for this advantage, regional equations cannot be ignored, he stressed. He said that the way Pakistan and China are coming closer to the Taliban and the US has distanced itself from Afghanistan, it has posed a big challenge to India.
How do you see Indo-Taliban relations after the withdrawal of US troops?
After the withdrawal of American troops, the Taliban has given a positive statement about India. From this statement it seems that he has tried to understand India’s concern. He has indicated to build a better relationship with India. The way America has withdrawn from Afghanistan, it is a big setback for India. In such a situation, India should understand that whatever it has to do in Afghanistan, it has to do it alone. India was ignored in the recent Doha meeting. America, Russia, China and Pakistan were involved in this meeting. All these equations show that India has to forge its own path.
What will be the attitude of Taliban towards India?
Prof Pant said that only time will tell how the relations between Taliban and India will be in future. But the Taliban has taken a positive stand with India in recent times. Taliban’s stance is not like Taliban-1. Taliban-2’s stance is completely different. The Taliban has been trying to build better relations with India for a long time. This can be gauged from the fact that even in the case of Article 370, the Taliban had said that the issue of Kashmir is an internal matter of India. He will not cooperate with Pakistan in this matter. This was a big statement of the Taliban at that time. Recently, the Taliban spokesperson has assured India’s security.