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A new look Afghan Realignment in favour of India

A new and aggressive strategic realignment is taking place in South Asia, with India taking central stage, getting unexpected supports from Mr. Ghani, the President of Afghanistan.

Why this realignment?

  1. Afghan hope got shattered and Ghani is turning to India because his relationship with Pakistan is breaking down as Pakistan has neither reined in the insurgency nor compelled the Taliban to negotiate.
  2. Trio of India, Afghanistan and Iran has realized their common problem of terrorism and its destination, Pakistan as common source.
  3. New strategic alignment developing between India and US has emboldened Mr. Ghani to make close relationship with India.
  4. Changed US attitude for Indian involvement also encouraged new alignment. In 2009, the U.S.’s General opined that any Indian involvement would exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani countermeasures while in 2016 US’s General favours India’s military support to Afghanistan.
  5. Moreover, both US Presidential candidates Ms. Clinton as well as Mr. Trump do not trust Pakistan as forceful ally.

What are the indications in this direction?

  1. Ghani sternly warned Pakistan that if it continued to restrict Afghan trade with India, Kabul would consider blocking Pakistan’s own access to Central Asia
  2. For the first time, Mr. Ghani publicly reinforced India’s new approach to Balochistan, demanding that “this violence needs to be covered.”
  3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Ghani, and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani signed a trilateral agreement to accelerate the Chabahar project.
  4. India handed over several attack helicopters to boost Afghanistan’s ailing airpower. Last month, Afghan Army chief General Qadam Shah Shahim visited India to make fresh request for more attack helicopters, transport helicopters, tanks, artillery, and ammunition.

What are its implications?

  1. For India
  • It will help counter China led offensive in its neighbouring countries
  • It will weaken Pakistan’s synergy in Kashmir
  • Pressure on China will increase to support Indian stand on international terrorism
  • Indian effort to isolate Pakistan in the UNO got boost, as now Afghanistan also declares Pakistan as the cradle of terrorism
  • India will get easy access to energy rich central Asia
  1. For Afghanistan
  • Taliban effect will be minimized
  • Pakistan’s dominance on Afghan matters will be tilted in favour of Afghanistan
  • Afghan military modernization will get support from additional zone
  • Infrastructural development will be enhanced
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