Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Delisting of Taliban prelude to American exit from Kabul

Experts say India does not have much say in Afghanistan

New Delhi: The UN Security Council on June 17 passed a unanimous resolution delisting the Taliban from the banned terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda, allowing the Afghan government to re-integrate individuals and groups from the unregenerate Taliban that subjected Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 to fundamentalist terror.

Ten years down the line, the United States and other Western powers leading the Nato forces under the rubric of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have recognsed that there is no way of defeating the Taliban, and that it is necessary to integrate them in a deft manner into the democratic set-up.

India, as a non-permanent member, has supported the resolution. India's permanent reprtesentative at the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri said in his intervention, “India fully supports an Afghan-led inclusive and transparent process of reconciliation, adhering to the redlines as enunciated by the Afghan Government in the London and Kabul communiqu├ęs. We respect the right of the Afghan people to decide their own destiny. The capacity of the Afghan Government and people to fight and overcome terrorism must be strengthened.”

India's security experts think that this was a polite way of India accepting the harsh reality of Afghanistan. Says Uday Bhaskar, who heads the National Maritime Foundation, “It is wrong for India to believe that because we build hospitals, schools, roads and airports and because Afghan people love Hindi films, India has a better footing in the country. India has no presence in the Afghan political grid. As a matter of fact, Pakistan is hardwired into it.” Bhaskar describes it as US persident Obama's political preparation for a military compulsion. He had promised to pull out the troops and he is going to fulfill it as he seeks re-election next year.

Security and terrorism expert Ajai Sahni says, “Pakistan's influence will grwo with the Taliban becoming a component of the Afghan political structure, and there is no doubt that Taliban are hostile to India. I see it as another throw od dice. The Americans will learn that this will not help in solving the Taliban challenge. The Americans are desperate to get out of Afghanistan and they are clutching at straws.” Sahni feels that India's uncompromising stand against the Taliban – that there can be no good or bad Taliban -- is the right one and it will be vindicated.

P.R.Chari of the Institute of Conflict and Peace Studies feels that the people of Afghanistan will not let the Taliban back. “They've suffered enough.”

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