India shouldn't talk to Taliban. US-NRIs & PIOs should persuade India to militarily help Afghanistan in which other Americans can provide HR help. By Hem Raj Jain
11 Jul 2021
In a crucial policy shift, India recently acknowledged that it entered into backchannel communications with the Taliban of Afghanistan. The Taliban’s Quetta-based leadership and Qatari officials have also confirmed these backchannel meetings, as reported at https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/7/7/why-did-india-open-a-backchannel-to-the-taliban
This is most unfortunate because India instead of talking to Taliban should strengthen & help the Government of Afghanistan which is not weak at all (vis-a-vis Taliban) as Prez Biden on July 8 said “we have trained and equipped nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military, the Afghan National Security Force, and many beyond that are no longer serving. Add to that hundreds of thousands more Afghan National Defense and Security Forces trained over the last two decades” as reported at https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2021/07/09/us-military-mission-to-end-on-august-31-afghans-to-decide-own-future-biden.html
Moreover, during Prez Ghani’s visit to USA, Prez Biden on June 25 said that in addition to other things “he has asked Congress to approve $3.3 billion in security assistance for Afghanistan next year” as reported at https://www.france24.com/en/americas/20210625-biden-meets-afghan-leaders-promises-us-support-despite-troop-withdrawal Hence these all are enough to sustain the security apparatus of Afghanistan against Taliban.
Due to shear incompetence and lack of cohesion in Afghan government and some demoralization of Afghan government due to withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, presently Taliban has gained some momentum on ground but if India declares military support to Afghanistan preferably through ‘SAARC Peace Keeping Force’ (SAARC-PKF) then Afghanistan (a member of SAARC) can be stabilized & made peaceful sooner than later. But Government of India (GoI) is not coming forward to help Afghanistan militarily hence the ‘Non Resident Indians’ (NRIs) & ‘Persons of Indian Origin’ (PIOs) living in the USA and in other countries should persuade the GoI for it, as given below:-
(1)- ‘Friend in need is a friend indeed’. India as the leader of SAARC should provide immediate & effective military help to its member Afghanistan through (SAARC-PKF), For the success of any multi-member organization the presence of one major / anchoring member is necessary. It is time India becomes the leader (such anchor) of SAARC which is possible only when India addresses the problems of the SAARC region which involves the participation of Indian military too (in addition to civilian participation), as mentioned at https://chauthiduniya.com/india-as-leader-of-saarc-should-urgently-help-its-member-afghanistan-militarily-against-taliban/
(2)- The NRIs & PIOs living in the USA and in other countries (like Canada, UK / Europe, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, East-Asian countries etc) can be an important factor in influencing the Government of India (GoI) to take the lead for sending SAARC-PKF in Afghanistan in which:-
(i)- In the USA alone the organization “US for Human Rights in Afghanistan” (USHRA, to be registered as per laws of the USA) can declare that it will give through SAARC / GoI Rs 5,000 allowance (as supplement) per month to every volunteer from India who (about 150,000) will go in secular-democratic Afghanistan to assist the “SAARC Election Commission” (in cooperation with ‘Afghanistan Election Commission’) in making voter list of Afghans for general election.
(ii)- There are about 1 million households of Asian Indians (NRIs & PIOs) in the USA and on an average $ 10 per month per household can easily take care of this monthly financial burden of USHRA of about $ 10 million.
(3)- Moreover there are many people in the USA who are not happy with US-administrations (Republican & Democrat administrations during the last 20 years) which did not handle Afghan issue properly (mainly because they didn’t press for secularism in Afghanistan and allowed opium production on private-land four time than it was in 2001 which due to attended drug smuggling immensely criminalized Afghan society and provided initial momentum to Taliban through huge extortion-funds), as reported at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47861444
(4)- Hence after spending so much money and giving so much lives & blood (even of US-allies), the USA is coming out of Afghanistan (by facilitating power transfer to Taliban by legitimizing Taliban which the USA & its allies have been fighting for about 20 years) without accomplishing anything worth the name (especially when Osama was already killed in 2011 in Pakistan). Now Afghanistan is undergoing a civil war. Therefore above said aggrieved and HR-friendly Americans can be associated with USHRA as members / contributors for helping India (in civilian and human rights related activities) in order to bring peace & stability in secular-democratic Afghanistan through SAARC-PKF
(5)- Similarly if the NRIs & PIOs of other countries also provide allowance (as supplement) to volunteers from India (for this or other stabilizing activities) in Afghanistan, it will go a long way in bringing peace & stability in Afghanistan through SAARC under the leadership of India.
Therefore India should immediately stop talking to Taliban (which tantamount to providing objectionable legitimacy to Taliban) and it is hoped that the Indians all over the world (and not merely in India) will see to it that India acquires a rightful place in the world community by taking the responsibility of the leadership of SAARC by first bringing peace in its member, the beleaguered Afghanistan.