Afghanistan’s foreign minister, Mohammed Haneef Atmar, was in New Delhi on a three-day official visit to discuss the ‘Afghan peace process’ with Indian officials. The trip comes as the US has mobilised regional actors to support its plan to establish a power-sharing government in Kabul.
Last week, the special representatives of Russia, US, China, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey met in Moscow to boost the US-led peace process for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban and pave the way for the upcoming Turkey conference on Afghanistan. Focusing on a quick political settlement, the April conference in Turkey will ‘finalise’ a peace agreement.
As Afghanistan is entering a new chapter of the Great Game, what is India’s role in this prevailing geopolitical struggle? How active is New Delhi in shaping regional affairs? It is imperative for India to rethink its regional policy and join Russia, China and Iran in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.
New Delhi should be fully on board and take an active role by working closely with the Afghan leaders and the US for the establishment of a broad-based and inclusive government, one that does not come at the cost of the progress hitherto made in Afghanistan.
Reality on the ground
Recent developments once again show that Pakistan is key to the implementation of Washington’s new strategy on Afghanistan. As an influential neighbour, it can both cause war and suffering to the Afghan people, and assist peace efforts.