The New Relationship of India with Taliban

By: Kanan Aghazade

India always has a specific relationship with Afghanistan and it connects with historical reasons. However, India follows a pragmatic approach in the foreign policy and for that reason; the Indian delegation participated in a meeting of 10 nations with Taliban officials in Moscow and join to the common statement that recognized the new reality in Afghanistan and South Asia. This is a clear indicator that India avoids emotional and sensitive moments. India tries to receive benefits from the current situation. They begin the relationship with the Taliban to protect the political and economic order in this complicated and turbulent region.


On the other side, India had earlier taken a radical position against any kind of cooperation with the Taliban. The situation drastically changed several months ago, when the Taliban expanded its control and entered Kabul. India realized that it is necessary to start direct contact with the representatives of the Taliban’s political establishment in Doha, Qatar. This is a historical event when the Indian delegation officially met with the top representatives of the Taliban delegation. Deputy Prime Minister had a positive outcome because Indian officials state that they sent humanitarian aid to the neighbouring nation. It is great progress and the beginning of the real transformation.

Measures and Reactions

India has vital and strategic interests in Afghanistan. They made huge investments and developed big projects from 2001 and the cost and importance of the economic interests are more superior to the ideological differences and contrast with Taliban. We should take into consideration that India is the regional power and the current nationalistic Prime Minister Modi will not spend finance in Muslim state just for the imitation.

India remembered that the Taliban had close ties with anti-India radical groups such as “LeT” and the “JeM” when it was in power.  However, there are no constant friends and enemies in politics, there are only constant interests. For that reason, India changed its priority. Certainly, India will concentrate attention in turbulent Kashmir as well as all boundary lands. Nowadays, Taliban claims that they will not allow Afghan land to be used by any radical organization. It is in India’s interest to make sure that the Taliban follow stability. India does not need to create a third enemy after Pakistan and China. India understands that the non-friendly approach towards the Taliban may become the reason for the creation of the new alliance with the Taliban, Pakistan and China. The invention of this alliance will be the greatest failure of Indian diplomacy. The new reality in Afghanistan means engagement with the Taliban and it is the strategic necessity for the stability and prosperity of India.

The Future Perspective

Finally, this is a new diplomatic negotiation that needs to be pursued more at the regional level than bilateral cooperation. Bilaterally, India does not have much experience in dealing with Taliban. But new Afghan government also is under the press of the economic crisis and needs urgently long-term stabilization. To achieve real stabilization, they need constructive and productive dialogue with India as the key regional player and also with all neighbours. For that reason, both sides should be ready to begin to respect their position and make difficult compromises because Afghanistan signifies not solely the security of one specific area but it incorporates with the global political security of all-region.

The last four decades of Afghan history are a violent and tragic symbol of what could go wrong if one nation or party tries to escape the dialogue and compromises. Despite these historical precedents, the governments repeated the same tragic mistakes and do not learn from the bloody past and people continue to suffer until our days. In conclusion, India and other regional countries should help Afghans during this period of political and economic crisis because of moral and historical stability and this assistance may be also a big advantage for Taliban to make ideological and political concessions at home.


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