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India’s attempt to get back into Afghanistan

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    13th Dec, 2021

Context

After a row erupted between India and Pakistan over the modalities of transportation, Pakistan finally agreed to let India transport wheat and life-saving drugs as humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan on Afghan trucks through the Wagah border crossing.

About

Afghanistan (the country profile)

  • Afghanistan is a landlocked country, bordered by Pakistan in the south and east and Iran in the west.
  • Afghanistan depended on Pakistan as Karachi was the only port it could access. 
  • Pakistan has exploited Afghanistan geographical location.

Facts about India to Afghanistan route

  • Delhi to Kabul is a distance of 990 km. Delhi to Kabul via Chabahar port in Iran is 3900 km, which is more than thrice the distance.
  • Pakistan has been the traditional supplier of wheat to Afghanistan.
  • India to Afghanistan road route goes via India-Pakistan Wagha Border.
  • Pakistan to Afghanistan road is conncted via six routes as on 2021.
    • New delhi to wagha border
    • wagah border to Chaman border crossing (or any other crossing).
    • Chaman border crossing to Kabul
  • There are six official border crossings and trade terminals between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Those are
    • Angur Ada Khyber
    • Badini Balochistan
    • Chaman Balochistan
    • Ghulam Khan Khyber
    • Kharlachi Khyber
    • Torkham Khyber

Chabahar Port

  • In May 2016 India signed a trilateral agreement with Iran and Afghanistan to open Chabahar totrade.
    • Access through Chabahar gives India a strategic edge over Pakistan in Asia. TheChabahar port is located in a free trade zone.
    • This port provides a gateway to India to not just Afghanistan but also to Central Asiaeffectively bypassing Pakistan. 

India’s attempt to enter into Afghanistan (post Taliban)

  • India attempted to work its way back into Afghanistan by agreeing to host the third Regional Security Defense Dialogue (RSDD) in New Delhi in September 2021 — less than a month after the Taliban had taken over Kabul.
    • The RSDD is an Iranian initiative which hosted the first two meetings of the forum in 2018 and 2019.
  • Participants: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan accepted the Indian invitation issued by its National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval. There were two significant no shows: Pakistan and China.
  • The meeting in India issued what came to be known as the “Delhi Declaration”.
    • It asked the Taliban-led government to ensure that its territory “would never become a safe haven for global terrorism”.
    • It stressed the need for an “open and truly and inclusive government” and ensuring the “rights of women, children and minority communities”.
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