The Bold Voice of J&K

Strategic ties

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With large strategic interests high in Afghanistan, India has to revisit its foreign policy especially in the face of Afghanistan tilting towards Pakistan, which is worrisome. The current visit of President Ashraf Ghani to New Delhi has brought one valid point to the front i.e one of the most vital defence pact inked with India during Hamid Karzai’s tenure has been shelved. Afghanistan has resorted to sending its armed forces officers to Pakistan for training. Traditionally they have been training in India as both Kabul and New Delhi were using weapons of Russian origin and followed almost same pattern of training for its men. India is major player in rebuilding the infrastructure in that country which was damaged in war and by Taliban militia. Afghan by shifting its stand is hoping to rope in Pakistan in its war against Taliban. With American forces pulling out of that country, the changing security scenario in the region and there being no respite in the war against terror, leaning towards Pakistan looks quiet logical. But the worst strategically hit would be India. India has high stake in rebuilding that militancy ravaged country as counter measures to bring down Pakistan’s influence. India too paid heavy price fighting Islamic militancy exported by Pakistan. India needs to maintain a strong presence in the region keeping its historic ties with that country since time immemorial. Taking advantage of this historical fact both countries have developed good relations especially from the times of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan popularly known as ‘Frontier Gandhi’. The present Afghan President seeking Indian investment for his country for developing infrastructure, industry, health sector etc can be a turning point for India to keep the energy rich Central Asia accessable which is what India needs. If the trilateral ties between India, Afghanistan and Pakistan can be developed on the economic plank which in all terms could be a wishful idea but can be exploited fully to our own advantage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Afghanistan is a sign of India’s commitment towards that country’s development.

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