Facing isolation, Delhi back peddles on Taliban


This months saw a lot of reversals for Delhi’s foreign policy. Still reeling from its eviction from Tajikistan, Delhi once again faces an about face and U turn on the Taliban. For a decade Bharat (aka India) has been espousing a hardline stance on Afghanistan–no negotiation, continued, war, perpetual occupation, and rejection of the anti-occupation forces.

Turkey did not even bother to invite Bharat to the regional conference on Afghanistan–all the immediate neighbors put up a joint front which essentially established a negotiating framework between the current government and the Taliban.

In London, Delhi again started with its old rhetoric of not negotiating with the Taliban. Its advice and stance fell on deaf ears. Neither the US, nor the UK–nor even China or Russia had any appetite for Delhi’s conspiracy theories about Pakistan and the Taliban.

“We are willing to give it a try,” Krishna told the Times of India in an interview published on Saturday.

“If the Taliban meets the three conditions put forward – acceptance of the Afghan constitution, severing connections with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups and renunciation of violence, and are accepted in the mainstream of Afghan politics and society, we could do business.”

Krishna’s comments come after ministers from 60 countries met in London on Thursday to endorse a plan to win over Taliban foot soldiers with cash and jobs in a renewed effort to turn the tide in the eight-year-old war..

While accepting the reality of the new plan on the Taliban, Krishna made clear the Indian discomfort with the group, saying its fundamental assessment of the Taliban remained unchanged.

“We consider them to be terrorists who have close links with the al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups,” he told the daily.

“We are next door and our experiences make it difficult for us to differentiate between good or bad Taliban,” he said, adding the West saw the group “from far away”.

Besides trying to lure away Taliban fighters from the insurgency, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has also offered to hold talks with the top leaders of the Taliban. The Taliban have not yet responded to his latest appeal.: India is willing to back efforts to seek peace with Taliban to stabilise Afghanistan, foreign minister S.M. Krishna said, indicating a softening of stand towards the group.DELHINEW

The Times of India in fact admitted the total failure of the Bharati foreign policy viz a viz West Asia. Nor only has Bharat failed to isolate Pakistan–Delhi’s big drama on Mumbai has isolated the country from Russia, China, America, Afghanistan, West Asia and Pakistan.

Delhi’s inane stance on non-negotiation with Pakistan has no seekers. Neither Pakistan, nor the world is bothered if Bharat wants to perpetuate its illogical belligerence towards one of the most important countries of West and South Asia. By continueing its animosity towards Pakistan on all forums Bharat has been ignored.

Obviously Bharat will now go to the drawing board, figuring out best case and worst case scenarios on the Hindu Kush. Once it has been determined that Bharat has to vacate its dozen or so Consulates, she will try to bifurcate Afghanistan into spheres of influence. Failing which it will continue to sponsor terror into Pakistan through mercenaries.

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