WION Edit: US-Taliban talks cancelled - Impact on India

DelhiUpdated: Sep 09, 2019, 08:01 PM IST

File photo: Taliban walk as they celebrate ceasefire in Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan June 16, 2018. Photograph:(Reuters)

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India has already committed $3 billion to developmental work in Afghanistan. Such engagement must continue.

The US decision to cancel the talks on troop withdrawal in Afghanistan has huge ramifications for India. 

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly undermined the development gains and the democratically elected government in Afghanistan.

Amidst the Afghan peace talks that went on for the last 10 months, the Taliban kept indulging in violence. Trump must now learn to understand the importance of respecting the democratic government in Afghanistan and engage in developmental work

So what does this latest development mean for India?

For sure, it's a vindication of India's stance to not engage with radical Islamist elements. But the time is ripe for New Delhi to play a more prominent role in Kabul.

The US decision to cancel the peace talks would provoke reactions from the Taliban. The US troops are bound to respond to radical Islamist elements. 

There will be a balancing of power and this can only happen with increasing military and developmental investment in the country, But for that to happen - the US has to stay longer in Afghanistan.

This is where the US can learn to utilise India's expertise. India has played a huge role in building Afghanistan and its institutions in the last 15 years.

The US wants to withdraw troops from the country by the end of 2020. That was Trump's stated position. Now, the US President has to rethink that strategy. An immediate withdrawal could aggravate the civil war.

If the violence escalates in Kabul or the jihadi elements in the Taliban gain prominence, then Pakistan will attempt to utilise such elements to create unrest in Kashmir.

So what can India do?

India should play a larger role in maintaining stability in the region by empowering Afghanistan government and wait for the situation to simmer down. 

India, too, has to re-examine its stance in Afghanistan and engage with non-radical elements of Taliban while also simultaneously helping Afghanistan's security forces.

India has already committed $3 billion to developmental work in Afghanistan. Such engagement must continue.

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)