How India got Afghanistan back on track

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The visit by Afghanistan's National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar to India was a successful one with both nations deciding to re-engage with each other. The ties between the two countries had a hit a temporary low with Afghanistan indicating a few months back that it would sign a pact with the ISI of Pakistan on intelligence sharing.

During his visit to India, Atmar held talks with India's National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. Both sides discussed means to enhance cooperation and also fight terrorism jointly. The Taliban is a common problem for both countries.

How India got Afghanistan back on track

Why this meeting was crucial?

The talks came at a time when Afghanistan is gradually shying away from Paksitan and experts would say that the Kunduz operation is one of the main reasons for this change in stance. During the Kunduz operation dubbed as a major intelligence failure in Afghanistan, the Taliban had taken control.

Investigations went on to show that the Taliban had sought the help of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba fighters for this operation. This has not gone down too well with Afghanistan as it is aware that no member of the Lashkar would budge even an inch without the approval of the Pakistan's ISI.

Atmar called Pakistan's bluff

Although Ashraf Ghani initially tilted towards Pakistan, it was Atmar who ensured that the controversial pact between Afghanistan and Pakistan was aborted. The pact was meant to pave the way for intelligence sharing between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The pact also stated that both nations will not blame each others intelligence services in the wake of a terror strike, a clause that had surprised India. Atmar is also aware that Afghanistan is finding it hard to reign in the Taliban due to the support it has from Pakistan sponsored terror groups.

The very intent of Pakistan in helping Afghanistan grow has been in doubt and the same has been questioned several times by Atmar who also realizes that India is a better strategic partner. Both India and Afghanistan have a common enemy in the Taliban and Lashkar.

Although Pakistan has tried to impress on the world that it is the only nation which can help Afghanistan restore peace and stability, this has been doubted. There are not many takers for the Pakistan point of view within Afghanistan.

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