Defence

India has no option but to wait and watch, avoid knee-jerk reaction: Ex-diplomats on Afghanistan

By Livemint

With Pakistan’s intelligence chief dashing to Afghanistan amidst efforts by the Taliban to finalise a government, former Indian diplomats on Sunday said the situation in the war-torn country was still in a “flux” and India has no other option but to wait and watch, while avoiding any “knee-jerk reaction”.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General (DG) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed rushed to Kabul on an unannounced visit. Hameed’s visit to Afghanistan comes as pressure is mounting on the Taliban to form an inclusive government acceptable to the international community.

Anil Wadhwa, who served as Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs before retiring in 2017, said India should avoid any knee-jerk reaction to the developments in Afghanistan and follow a wait and watch policy.

“India should avoid a knee-jerk reaction because it remains to be seen what kind of government is formed by the Taliban, whether it is an inclusive government or not. No knee jerk reaction (India should), just wait and see how the situation emerges,” Wadhwa told PTI.

On the ISI chief’s visit to Kabul, he said the influence of the ISI on the Taliban, especially the Haqqanis, is well known and so they would like to have that influence in the new government.

Asked if India should spell out its expectations from the new government, Wadhwa said this needs to be conveyed whenever there is an engagement with the Taliban representatives in Doha.

He added that India, in all likelihood, has already conveyed to the Talibani side that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for anti-India activities.

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