Taliban may return to power after NATO leaves: Indian diplomat
By Sajad - Fri Nov 02 2012, 8:02 pm
A former Indian government official has warned that the Taliban group is likely to return to power “fairly quickly and easily” in Afghanistan after the exit of US-led NATO forces from the war-torn country.
Krishnan Srinivasan former Indian foreign Secretary quoted by The Indian Express made the comments while answering questions on his recently published memoirs ‘Diplomatic Channels’ at an event at the Nehru Centre here last night.
Gazing at a crystal ball on Afghanistan, Srinivasan, also a former deputy secretary general of the Commonwealth, forecast the return of the Taliban and an ouster of the Hamid Karzai government after the exit of western forces from the country at the end of 2014.
“The Taliban are likely to return to power fairly quickly and easily,” he remarked.
He also pointed towards the formation of the Northern Alliance in Mazar-e-Sharif and other parts of the country, thereby witnessing a return of status quo ante while anticipating Taliban dominance in the Pushtun region of Afghanistan.
Bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of India have been traditionally strong and friendly. While the Republic of India was the only South Asian country to recognize the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s, its relations were diminished during the 1990s Afghan civil war and the Taliban government.
India has provided USD 2 billion of assistance to Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in the aftermath of the al-Qaeda attack on the US in September 2001.
A comeback by the Taliban, which is known to be pro-Pakistan, is, thus, unlikely to be good news for India.
Wary of Indian influence in Afghanistan, Pakistan continues to support insurgent groups and provide terrorist safe havens so as to have its influence inside the war-torn country.
India has, though, already signed a wide-ranging agreement with Kabul to strengthen ties between the two countries, including the training of Afghan officers in India.
The Indian government has also promised to support the development of the mining sector in Afghanistan and its thought one of the reasons behind the investment was the fear that China and Pakistan was trying to dominate the sector.