|Event Start Date:|
September 17, 2021
|Event End Date:|
September 17, 2021
The rapid collapse of the Afghan security forces and seizure of power by the Taliban in Afghanistan is bound to have unprecedented consequences for the South Asian region. In fact, the biggest threat to the future of Afghanistan in particular and the region in general is going to be terrorism. Its strategic location as a gateway towards Central Asia, along with the increasing geo-strategic potential of the region has only propelled regional actors like India and China to compete for maximum influence.
The Chinese have attempted to delicately balance its diplomacy vis-à-vis Taliban and the erstwhile Afghan government. The attempts of Taliban befriending China to boost its image should be understood from the angle of close Sino-Pak links and how the latter has been a staunch supporter of the terror outfit since its inception. As China intends to secure its projects as part of the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) and aspires to expand it into Afghanistan, its quest for economic gains could alter the regional power equations in South Asia. Amid the Afghanistan crisis, China was seen provoking India at the border with its military drills in an attempt to evaluate strategies of high-altitude warfare in Tibet. Indian forces also maintain an offensive military posture towards China, as the Chinese forces show no intent of ending the standoff in Ladakh.
As a prominent regional player, India cannot be immune to such developments. India’s Afghan policy can be traced back to her civilizational links with the nation, coupled with her pursuits to adapt herself to changing strategic dynamics in the nation. In the wake of Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, stakes are high for India as a regional player, as the Afghan instability may have a spillover effect on its internal security concerns. As the Pak influence amongst the Taliban is becoming increasingly evident, latest being the composition of the Interim government in Afghanistan, India is expected to tread with caution as it wants only peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Ambassador Venu Rajamony
Former Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Professor of Diplomatic Practice at the Jindal Global Law School of the O.P. Jindal Global University & Advisor, CPPR
Professor Harsh V Pant
Director, Studies and Head of the Strategic Studies Programme at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi
Dr Shelly Johny
Assistant Professor of Political Science, St. Aloysius College Thrissur & Senior Fellow, CPPR
Topic: Political Crisis in Afghanistan: The National Interests of India and China.
Date: 17 September 2021
Time: 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM IST