The Taliban are busy making efforts to finalize the government in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the intelligence chief of Pakistan has arrived in Afghanistan. On the other hand, former Indian diplomats say that the situation in the war-torn country is still constantly changing. In such a situation, India has no option but to wait and watch, avoiding a thoughtless reaction.
The unannounced visit of Pakistan’s Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to Kabul comes at a time when the Taliban are under increasing pressure to form an inclusive government acceptable to the international community. Anil Wadhwa, who served as Secretary (Eastern Affairs) in the Ministry of External Affairs before retiring in 2017, said that India should avoid any premeditated reaction to developments in Afghanistan and follow a wait-and-see policy. should be complied with.
India should not react without thinking
Wadhwa said, “India should avoid a reckless reaction as it remains to be seen what kind of government the Taliban forms and whether it will be an inclusive government or not.” India should not react without thinking and wait to see how the situation turns out.
On the ISI chief’s visit to Kabul, he said the influence of the ISI on the Taliban, especially the Haqqanis, is well known and therefore they want that influence in the new government. Asked whether India should convey its expectations to the new government in Afghanistan, Wadhwa said whenever talks are held with Taliban representatives in Doha, it should be conveyed.
He said that there is every possibility that India has already conveyed to the Taliban side that the soil of Afghanistan should not be used for anti-India activities.
Afghanistan’s position in the ups and downs
TCA Raghavan, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan from June 2013-December 2015, expressed similar views and said the situation in Afghanistan is still volatile and India should adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach. “I think the situation in Afghanistan is still volatile, so we should not go into a situation where we comment on our analysis,” he said. Since the Pakistan ISI chief is there, it is easy to start commenting on our own assessment that he is forming the government. Asked whether India should convey its expectations to the government in Afghanistan and set its own pre-conditions for recognition of the regime there, he said, “I don’t think we are at that stage where we can achieve our objectives.” Make it a precondition.’
What do these former diplomats say
Rakesh Sood, former Ambassador of India to Afghanistan said, ‘I think we have no choice but to wait and see. I don’t think we have any other option. Sood said, “If the Director General of ISI has to go there to sort out the cases, then it is very clear what the situation is. He has not gone there to exchange discussions about the weather.
G Parthasarathy, who was India’s envoy to many countries including Pakistan, said that India should not rush into anything and should avoid any thoughtless reaction to the developments in Afghanistan. Referring to the visit of the ISI chief, he said, “After being in Pakistan for seven years, I would have been surprised if the Pakistanis had not done what they are doing.”
Cautioning against the Sino-Pakistan alliance, Parthasarathy said, “Unless we underestimate the dangers posed by the China-Pakistan alliance, we will be wrong.” Pakistan itself is not a threat, it becomes a problem when it works in alliance with China.
On what should be India’s approach, the former diplomat said that India should not rush into anything, take time and see in which direction things are moving as the internal politics of Afghanistan will shape the developments.
“There are groups like the Haqqani network which are agents of the ISI because the Haqqani family lives in Pakistan. Let’s see how it behaves. We don’t need to rush into anything. Wise Afghans have told us that they appreciate Indian assistance.
KC Singh, who served as India’s envoy to the UAE and Iran, said the delay in the formation of the Taliban government indicates a conflict between the more liberal elements led by Mullah Baradar and the Haqqani network. “Most countries are waiting and watching but also putting pressure on the Taliban,” he said. India should take a public stance on what kind of inclusive government it expects, and without that it will not recognize the Taliban government.
ISI Director General Hameed’s visit to Afghanistan is the first high-level visit by a Pakistani official to Afghanistan since the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15. Since then, the Taliban has been trying to form a government, but so far has not announced the same. The Taliban postponed the formation of a new government in Afghanistan for this week as it seeks to shape a comprehensive and inclusive administration acceptable to the international community.