Imminent US-Taliban deal must make India wary

Sirajuddin Haqqani, deputy leader of Taliban with a bounty of $5 million on his head set by America’s FBI, yesterday wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times. In it, he claimed that “we are about to sign an agreement with the United States and we are fully committed to carrying out its every single provision, in letter and spirit.”

Speculation has been rife for a while about an imminent deal between the US and Taliban which will allow the former to begin a phased process of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. This is in sync with President Donald Trump’s promise prior to the last presidential election.

Also read: Taliban, Afghan officials say reach pact to reduce violence

For India, this is not good news. There is no reason to believe that the Taliban today has dropped some of its harmful ideas from the last time they administered Afghanistan. Moreover, India has invested resources and effort to build infrastructure in the country and support the incumbent government. The takeaway is that India cannot wholly depend on any other partner for its security as interests may diverge. As part of strengthening its own internal security, the government must avoid pushing issues that could open up fissures within society.

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