India’s goals are to deny Pakistan strategic depth in Afghanistan: US report


United States (US) Congressional Research Service, in a report has highlighted Indian desire to limit Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan eventually leading to loss of strategic depth.

The report states that India eyes halt to Pakistan’s ability to cut the country from Central Asia for different purposes including trade. Afghanistan is desirous of extended cooperation with India largely owing to its big economy however, the country does not want to alarm Pakistan.

In May 2011, India and Afghanistan had announced a strategic partnership. India has endorsed US’s efforts in Afghanistan for security, economic and political betterment. The report states that on October 2, 2011 then president, Hamid Karzai added to Pakistan’s worries by formally giving India a role in security of Pakistan’s neighbouring country.

The agreement did not see deployment of Indian troops in Afghanistan but yearly training of 600 Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) at Indian school.

After tensions rose between Afghanistan and Pakistan in May 2013, Karzai sought military aid from India. He visited India and showed interest in artillery, aircraft and other equipment. India however did not go through with the business as she never wanted a controversial role in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. (May be she does but not so “out there” one)

After Karzai’s tenure expired, incumbent President Ashraf Ghani reversed the aid request making an attempt to mend ties with Pakistan. Ghani paid a visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India in April 2015.

It must be mentioned here that Modi has not changed India’s policy towards Afghanistan after he came to power. Earlier, on June 28 2012 India, following “limit Pakistan” policy, hosted a meeting in Delhi to discuss economic development in Afghanistan.

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