India engages Kabul for world peace

Afghanistan remains on India’s continuous watch for its strategic importance. Relations
though not warm with Taliban are taking new turn. Instead of engaging it on full
term, it is opening up to humanitarian aid .India is keeping its doors open for relations.
India has made of billions of dollars of investment and even constructed its new
parliament building. It has build many critical infrastructure and all through its
post World Trade Tower blast, it has tried to Afghan government engaged with India, something that the
US also wanted. Despite risks it continued with the ties for futuristic concerns despite many attacks on
Indian embassy and killings of key Indian engaged in various works for the betterment of the country.
Afghanistan for millennia has been important to developments in the Indian subcontinent.
It remains so even now. It built the critical Chabahar port in Iran for easy access to Kabul and beyond to
central Asia. This provided an alternative route to continue its aid and trade to this landlocked country. It put
Pakistan in a discomfort zone as also sized up its strategic importance for which it has been blaming the super
powers for long. The world considered Indian engagement important for putting a check on Pakistan.
Much changed after Pakistan-supported Taliban captured Kabul. India felt extremely scary of the new
regime that has all through been hostile. But diplomacy is a difficult game. There cannot remain a void. So
despite its suspicion and fears, India has kept its watchful eyes open. It has been intervening selectively
with humanitarian and critical aid hoping that Afghan people would remember not only its contribution but
also feel obliged that India did not leave them in the lurch.
So now months after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, India has sent its first consignment of
humanitarian aid for the Afghan people. The aid, which mostly consisted of around 2 tons of medicines, was
sent Saturday from New Delhi to Kabul by a special flight operated by Kam Air. This flight had
brought 10 Indian and 94 Afghan nationals from Kabul to New Delhi Friday under ‘Operation Devi
Shakti’, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) says.
Interestingly enough the Taliban dispensation was quick to thank New Delhi, and said this process “will
The medicines are handed over to the representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) in
Kabul and is to be administered at the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital, a facility India built in Kabul.
However, a plan to send 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan is held up for long as Pakistan
delays modalities for transfer through Wagah border..
The labels on the consignment of medicines read “Gift from the people of India to the people of
Afghanistan”. Yes, it is a critical test. India would like to keep engaged with the country so that the
ruling forces soften down and act in a prudent manner. India’s gains as of now are limited. But a continued
engagement may not only change internal situation in Afghanistan, it may also lead to a better political and
security environment in the region. Yes, that is the biggest gain India would have and may be a great step
to regional if not world peace

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