China, Pakistan, Russia to put an end to India’s Afghan policy

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China, Pakistan, and Russia highlighted their concern for the growing influence of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Afghanistan during a meeting last month hosted by Russia for the representatives from the three countries.

The three countries agreed upon “a flexible approach to remove certain [Taliban] figures from [United Nations] sanctions lists as part of efforts to foster a peaceful dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban movement.”

The three states underscored their concern “about the rising activity in the country [Afghanistan] of extremist groups, including the Afghan branch of IS [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria]” and underlined that Taliban were a necessary bulwark in the global fight against the ISIS. The Taliban obviously welcomed the move. “It is joyous to see that the regional countries have also understood that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a political and military force,” a statement, issued on their behalf, said.

Russia is now arguing that Afghanistan could become a safe haven for the ISIS, from where it would be able to pose a serious threat to Russian hinterland. China too remains worried about the impact of growing ISIS threat in its Xinjiang province. And both of them have found in Pakistan an important interlocutor who could perhaps manage the Taliban in a way that it would be a force against the ISIS.

Russia has an interest in hyping the threat from the ISIS in Afghanistan and it is doing so rather effectively. The Taliban remain the most potent threat to the future of Afghanistan as everyday bombings in the country attest to. But given the uncertainty over President-elect Donald Trump’s Afghanistan policy, Russia feels this is the right moment to insert itself in the region and derail whatever little progress that has been made towards stabilising Afghanistan.

India May Find Itself Isolated

As Russia works with China and Pakistan to engage Taliban, jettisoning its historic animosity to the group, India might find itself regionally isolated. The Afghan government is too weak to assert its primacy in the process. And given Trump’s soft corner for Russia, if he decides to buy into the Russian argument, then India’s Afghan policy will once again be at a crossroads.

There was once a time when the US wanted to reach out to Taliban. Despite the threat of isolation, India stuck to its stand on the group. Eventually, New Delhi’s views prevailed as the Pakistani shenanigans made sure that the so-called peace process with the Taliban did not go anywhere. Today, India once again looks isolated. It would be hoping that Washington and Kabul will heed its advice on Afghanistan and stand up strongly against the China-Pakistan-Russia axis to manipulate regional strategic realities to serve their short-term ends. But hope is not a policy, and it is possible that New Delhi may have to revisit some of the fundamental assumptions of its Afghan policy soon.

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. Putin Knows very well how to manage things in that region. China Shares border with Afghanistan and they see ISIS growing influence in the Muslim-dominated Xinyang State. Pakistan is emerging strongly in the region, they have sidelined Indian influence in the region by taking China, Russia & even Iran on their side.

    • The game is not so simple as you think it to be. Afghanistan has become a play ground of all the big countries and none of them can be side lined by Pakistan, though, Pakistan has a central role in creating all the troubles of Afghanistan.

  2. I Don't Know why , But India has no foreign Policy they always blame Pakistan for every Mishap in the region ,
    But Pakistan showing maturity like elder brother , and settling issues b/w Afghan Govt and Taliban.
    Pakistan, China, Russia doing good job, Keep it up

  3. its seems to be written in the close door without using the history book. Re-call USSR days and Pakistan"s role, can we believe that Russian will work with Pak? in last if ISIS or Taliban in Af they will produce enough heat which this time will reach up to china thru Pak border. So in any case if someone just think that they can propose such tri-axis to contain India is absolute day dreaming. India and Af has a deep working relationship which is going to grow deeper. It will not take long news will start coming from China what ISIS and Pakis doing there..

  4. China is investing billion of dollars in Gwadar Port, they will not let Pakistan's northern side go into terrorists hands again otherwise their route to Gwadar will be in jeopardy and Russia always wanted an access to warm waters and will probably use the same route as china. So both World powers will benefit from it and so will Pakistan.

  5. why indians dont understand the simplest of things…every country has to see their own interests…if pakistan had a role in breaking ussr back in late 1980s dont it was US who set the chess board to break USsr with the help of pakistan and afghani taliban…noe the game is simple and opposite…russia watching indias cozyness with USA and afghanistan day by day …so they chose pakistan to slap india indirectly no matter how much india the worlds largest importer of arms would invest in russian ammo …the interests of any country comes first …if india gets nuke deal frm states and etc future f16 assembling etc …and status of major strategic partner of states…surely russian nemesis were usa and afghanistan first they see their past frend india closer to them so they decided to get closer to pakistan simple..dnt know why india is whinning

  6. who is Pakistan and china to decide India's policy on Afghanistan ? Afgan i true friend of India . Afgan hates pakistan because for its unstability pakistan is the main reason

    • Mr. Sushanth,

      According to you sir India loves the afghan people, then show by your actions, we are willing to open the Wagah border to transfer all the refugees to your country (all 3 million of them) and you can show them all the tender loving care and hospitality which we Pakistan were stupid enough to show these afghani people for last 30 yrs. Afghans are ungrateful people. The afghan leaders are corrupt and decietful they want us to feed their people but stab us on our back. If you afghanis on this site or Indians have any guts then take these refugees. And we will say good riddance.

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