What would India’s role in Afghanistan be with the Chinese backing Taliban
New Delhi, Sep 14: India is watching closely, China's role in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. While India may have shut down its embassies and consulates in Afghanistan due to the evolving situation, it has however kept a communication channel open with the Taliban.
Afghanistan watchers tell OneIndia that, India will tread patiently on the issue. There is still plenty of confusion in Afghanistan and unless the entire process settles down, New Delhi will not decide on the next move.
However, the concern would be the Chinese involvement in Afghanistan. China is looking to fill in the geopolitical space which was recently vacated by the United States. China would also be looking to consolidate its influence in Asia.
Moreover China can also expand its project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through Afghanistan. In addition to this China would also look to tap into the mineral reserves in Afghanistan which is estimated at around 1 trillion USD. In short China would take full advantage of the fact that the Taliban is cash strapped and would requires millions of US dollars to run the country.
The insurgency in the Xinjiang region by the Uyghur Muslims is also another cause for China. The East Turkmenistan Movement (ETIM) operates from the border areas of Afghanistan and China. Beijing has sought an assurance from the Taliban that it would let the ETIM operate from Afghansitan. Several times, the ETIM cadres to avoid the Chinese escape into Afghanistan.
In the current scenario, India would not find itself exactly in an advantageous position where Afghanistan is concerned. When the US forces were in the country, there was an elected government in place, which left very little scope for Islamist radicals. At that time, India had plenty of investments in Afghanistan.
While the Taliban has said it should not be dragged into the affairs of India and Pakistan, the concern is that it could be soft on those terror groups which would look to launch attacks in India.
With the ISI meddling very evident in Afghanistan, India worries that it could convince the Taliban to allow its soil be used for terror training and creation of launch pads for groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Islamic State Khorasan Province. An official explained that talks are the only way, which will take place only by the end of the year. The primary concern for now is with regard to security, the official also explained.