New Delhi – News has surfaced that India is ready to hold discussions with the Taliban. This is considered to be a drastic change in the Indian stance. However, this news has not yet been officially verified. But, over the last few months, indications were that India is eager to hold talks with the Taliban. On the other hand, Pakistan reporters slammed the Taliban, accusing it of adopting policies favouring India. Besides, the Afghan-American special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, advised India to hold talks with the Taliban.
Moreover, time and again, India had announced that it would support the elected government in Afghanistan. Besides, last year, India cautiously responded to the peace deal signed between the US and Taliban in Doha, Qatar. But, on the other hand, India has consistently drawn attention to the fact that the Taliban has not stopped the violence. In such a situation, Afghan-American special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad advised India to hold talks with the Taliban.
As soon as the United States initiated the process to withdraw the army from Afghanistan, the Taliban intensified its attack on the Afghan military. All the more, news has surfaced, instead of countering the Taliban, the Afghan army soldiers in few regions decided to join those militants. The talks are in the air that as the Taliban hastens towards the Afghan capital Kabul, Afghanistan may soon go into the hands of the Taliban itself. At the same time, the Afghan army, with the help of the United States, carried out airstrikes on the Taliban and killed hundreds of Taliban terrorists. Besides, Pakistan has allowed the United States to use its airspace for this attack. Thus, the furious Taliban has warned Pakistan of grave consequences.
Furthermore, Pakistan, which provided its airspace to the US for the attacks, discusses whether to offer it an airbase. Even though Pakistan says that it won’t provide an airbase, it has decided to do otherwise, claimed the Pakistan press. A few Pakistan reporters are expressing disappointment about Pakistan betraying the Taliban. Thus, against this background, the news of the so-called India-Taliban discussion draws attention.
Taliban is not a cohesive organization; it has numerous subgroups within. Among these, India is said to be holding talks with Mullah Baradar. At the same time, this news also reported that India is in touch with other Taliban groups. Furthermore, the Haqqani Network group of Taliban is known to be pro-Pakistan and core anti-Indian. It is because of this group, India has considered the Taliban a terrorist outfit. Moreover, the members of the Haqqani network had attacked the Indian embassy in Afghanistan.
But, over the last few months, the Taliban has indicated changing its stance. Taliban had declared that it would not let the Afghan soil be used against other nations once it reigns in Afghanistan. Moreover, a few Taliban leaders welcomed India’s investment in Afghanistan. They expressed hope that India would invest in rebuilding Afghanistan in future as well. A few Pakistan analysts also claimed that the Taliban would not hurt India once it reigns Afghanistan.
Hence, the signs indicate that India’s stance about the Taliban may change. But, so far, India has not officially verified this news of discussion with the Taliban. However, over the last few weeks, the anti-India Pakistan press reporters and analysts have accused the Taliban of adopting a stance favourable to India. Thus, they are spewing venom against the Taliban. But, it is not yet understood whether this is a joint conspiracy of Pakistan and the Taliban, or the Taliban is genuinely determined to obtain India’s cooperation. Whatsoever the case may be, the possibility of India to rely on the Taliban entirely and go against the elected Afghan government is significantly less. Moreover, India expects the Afghans to make vigorous efforts to establish a united government.