- Salman Ravi
- PRESS24 NEWS correspondent
When the then Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the US supported Afghan fighters, India chose a neutral path for itself.
But when US forces started attacking Taliban positions in 2001, India welcomed this action.
Later, India took a very active part in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and also spent a lot of money on many important projects there.
US decision to leave Afghanistan
Strategic affairs experts believe that the US forces have decided to leave Afghanistan without taking any concrete assurances from the Taliban. Because of that, the situation there before 2001 has arisen.
Despite several rounds of talks with the US, the Taliban never assured that it would adopt non-violent methods.
This is also a matter of great concern for India. The situation reached such a point that India had to close its consulate in Kandahar.
From the perspective of the current situation arising in South Asia, the two-day visit of US Secretary of State Anthony J Blinken to India on July 27 is considered to be very important.
However, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Blinken have met thrice in the past at different events.
Blinken is the second such senior official in the administration of US President Joe Biden, who is visiting India.
Earlier, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has visited India.
Jaishankar and Blinken had met at the G-7 meeting held in Britain and then during the G-20 countries meeting held in Italy.
Blinken’s India tour
Foreign affairs expert and senior journalist Manoj Joshi says, “Afghanistan will be an important point of discussion during Blinken’s visit because India has always opposed the Taliban’s capture of power in Afghanistan in a violent manner. It has already been made clear that the participation and opinion of the common people of Afghanistan in the change of power should be respected.
Although Manoj Joshi feels that even though there may not be a major settlement of Blinken’s visit, it is clear that after the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, America wants India to play an important role in South Asia, which will also bring stability in Afghanistan soon. Can come
Dean Thomson, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia at the US State Department, said that Blinken would discuss mutual cooperation in the Pacific region regarding the Corona epidemic during his visit to India. He also said that apart from this, issues of democracy and human rights will be discussed.
Normalcy restored in Afghanistan
Regarding the relations between India and Pakistan, Thomson said that this is a mutual matter of both the countries, which both the countries will have to solve together.
According to C Raja Mohan, director of the ‘Institute of South Asian Studies’ at the National University of Singapore, Western countries should also not see the Taliban forcibly taking power as a normal thing.
He says there is still time for developing countries to make a last-ditch effort to restore normalcy in Afghanistan and persuade the Taliban to abandon the path of violence.
According to him, “India still feels that there is a lot of scope at the diplomatic and political level when the Taliban can be forced to soften its stance. This is what India is urging the West to do.”
Foreign and strategic affairs experts say that Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will also exchange his notes with Blinken as he and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during the recent ‘Shanghai Cooperation Organization’ conference. Had happened.
India America relations
Manoj Joshi feels that at the end of this year, a meeting of foreign ministers of countries included in the ‘Quadital Security Dialogue’ ie ‘Quad’ such as Australia, India, America and Japan is also proposed.
Blinken’s visit will not only pave the way for this meeting, but will also pave the way for face-to-face meeting of the heads of state of these countries.
Strategic affairs experts say that since 2008, a kind of ‘fatigue’ has been seen in the relations between India and America. That is, the warmth that used to be there, it has disappeared.
Senior journalist and strategic affairs expert Abhijit Iyer Mitra, while talking to the PRESS24 NEWS, said that after the nuclear treaty in 2009, the nuclear reactor agreements that were to be signed did not happen.
In 2009, the Indian government signed an agreement with the US for the ‘peaceful use of nuclear energy’.
after the nuclear deal
This agreement paved the way for American companies to build nuclear reactors and other energy plants and infrastructure in India.
Mitra says, “There was an agreement, but no agreement was reached with American companies to set up a nuclear reactor. So there was not much enthusiasm for the relationship from both sides.”
He believes that China’s growing influence and attitude can definitely be an important issue of conversation between the US Secretary of State and the Foreign Minister of India.
Mitra said, “Human rights and democracy must have been talked about by the US State Department because the Biden government of America also wants to keep the lawmakers of its party happy. Anyway, diplomatically America does not care. What is India’s opinion on the issues of human rights and democracy because America’s relations are much better than Saudi Arabia which fails miserably on both these parameters.
US comments on India’s domestic affairs
But earlier this year, the US gave its suggestions on India’s internal affairs, including the farmers’ movement on the Delhi border. Even before this, America had also expressed concern over the Citizenship Amendment Act.
As far as Afghanistan is concerned, Mitra feels that the government of Afghanistan has little hold in rural areas, except for Kabul and a couple of big cities.
He said that even when he went to report from Afghanistan, he still saw Taliban control in rural areas and towns.
Experts believe that India is more concerned that China should not try to take advantage of the situation arising in Afghanistan. Therefore, Blinken’s visit to India can be very important. During this, Blinken’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also proposed.
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