India in Afghan Peace Process
Apr 10, 2021
India in Afghan Peace Process
Q Why is it in News?
Recently, the USA President has envisaged a New Peace Initiative (Plan) to decide on the roadmap for peace in Afghanistan.
- Under the plan, the USA proposed a regional conference under the United Nations auspices with foreign ministers of the USA, India, Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran to discuss a “unified approach” on Afghanistan.
Q What is New Peace Initiative?
- USA President’s New Peace Initiative:
- Delay in Withdrawal of Troops: This peace plan has kept open the possibility that the USA troops, currently deployed in Afghanistan, might stay on for a longer time.
- Under the earlier USA- Taliban Deal, the USA had promised to withdraw all troops by May, 2021.
- Immediate Action: The USA is pressing the Taliban to accept an immediate agreement to reduce violence for 90 days that will provide the space for the peace initiative.
- Inclusive Process: The USA will not be “dictating terms” to the Afghan parties, but facilitating an inclusive interim government, an agreement on the “foundational principles” for a new political order, and a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”.
- Turkey’s Role: The USA is asking Turkey to convene a meeting of the government in Kabul (capital of Afghanistan) and the Taliban to finalise a peace settlement.
- Unified Approach: The USA asked the United Nations to convene a meeting of the foreign ministers from China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States to develop a “unified approach” to peace in Afghanistan.
Q What will be India’s Role in Peace Process?
- India is an important player in the peace process and it has also been acknowledged by the USA.
- India supports all efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan which are inclusive and Afghan-led, Afghan owned and Afghan-controlled.
- India has invested heavily in infrastructure developments, training security forces and supplying them with necessary equipment.
- India has a major stake in the stability of Afghanistan since it has invested considerable resources in Afghanistan's development.
- India hopes to have a role in setting the terms especially concerning terrorism, violence, women’s rights and democratic values.
Q What are India’s Interest in Afghanistan?
- Economic and Strategic Interest: Afghanistan is a gateway to the oil and mineral-rich Central Asian republics.
- Anyone who is in power in Afghanistan controls the land routes connecting India with Central Asia (via Afghanistan).
- Developmental Projects: The massive reconstruction plans for the country to offer a lot of opportunities for Indian companies.
- Major projects include the Afghan Parliament, the Zaranj-Delaram Highway, and the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam).
- Also India’s assistance of more than USD 3 billion in projects, hundreds of small development projects (of schools, hospitals and water projects) have cemented its position in Afghanistan.
- Security Interest: India has been the victim of state-sponsored terrorism emanating from Pakistan supported terrorist group operating in the region (e,g. Haqqani network). Thus, setting up a friendly government in Afghanistan can help tackling Pakistan supported terrorism.